Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Join our Newsletter
Search Our Site and Blog~ Enter Destination, Activity, or anything you like.
Stay Connected


Featured Indonesia Blog on GO! Overseas


Vacation, Travel & Adventure Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Entries in precaution (1)


Indo continues to battle with Merapi Volcano

Indonesian Officials Warn Yogyakarta Could Be in Firing Line
Candra Malik |via Jakarta Globe

Geologists warned on Friday that Yogyakarta could be at real risk from the continuing eruptions. Geologists warned on Friday that Yogyakarta could be at real risk from the continuing eruptions. 

Share This Page

Yogyakarta. The city of Yogyakarta is now facing a very real threat from the rumbling Mount Merapi, geologists said on Friday, acknowledging that it was now very difficult to anticipate the volcano’s next move.

“I still believe that the heat clouds from Mount Merapi will not go beyond 20 kilometers from the mountain’s crater,” Surono, head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG), said on Friday.

“But who can put a stop to the wind? Who knows where the wind will blow? The wind has now carried the volcanic ash, sand and gravel into the middle of the city,” he said.

Winds, he said, were also responsible for the heat clouds gliding as far as 17 kilometers from the crater on Friday — something geologists never expected to happen — and destroying hamlets previously thought safe.

Surono added that pyroclastic flows — fast-moving clouds of superheated ash and gas — were not the only deadly threats from the volcanic eruptions now referred to as the worst in 140 years.

Lava and lahar — mudflow or debris flow composed of pyroclastic material, rocky debris and water — are real threats that cannot be overlooked, he said.

The several rivers flowing down the slopes of Merapi have now carried lava and lahar to various regions surrounding the volcano.

One of these, Code River, passes through the middle of Yogyakarta city, which was placed on the highest alert level following Friday’s massive eruption.

“There is no alternative but to move away from Code River,” Surono said.

“Do not watch the swift current in the river, do not stand on the bridge, do not stay in houses located along the river.

If lava damages the riverbanks, then the risk is very high.

It will break down anything along its path.

It can be fierce as the heat clouds will kill anyone in the way.”

Surono appealed to residents comply with government orders to evacuate the area.

“Do not argue or fight with the authorities from local governments,” he said.

“We are facing a disaster that we haven’t seen in a century.”

Raden Sukhyar, head of the geology department at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said Merapi had released more than 50 million cubic meters of volcanic material since its first eruption on Oct. 26.

He said the amount of volcanic material released by Merapi over about 10 days was already half of the total volcanic material ejected by Mount Galunggung in Tasikmalaya, West Java, over a 10-month eruption phase in 1982.

“Mount Merapi has showed us an extraordinary number of volcanic material bursts. We do not know anymore what to do, other than call on people to keep at a safe distance. What happens in the coming days could be even worse than now,” he said.

There is also the threat to respiratory health due to the ash.

Tutik Anuriah, a division head at Yogyakarta’s Environmental Pollution Control Agency, said the air quality in the city and surrounding areas was continuing to deteriorate.

“Ideally, there should be no more than 230 micrograms per cubic meter of solid particles in the air. That is standard quality. However, in 12 regions, the total suspended particles in the air has exceeded normal quality by three times,” she said.

“The worst was around Pakem in Sleman. The amount of solid particles in the air there reached 1,819 micrograms per cubic meter.”

Merapi’s volcanic ash, she added, contains 0.25 micron silica, sulfur and methane, which poses a health risk for people.

“Always keep your nose and mouth covered by a mask.”