Monday, 04 March 2019 10:20

Mount Merapi Erupts Again

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Mount Merapi erupted again and released a hot cloud burst on Saturday night (02/03/2019) with a sliding distance of 1.3 kilometers. The Center for Investigation and Development of Geological Disaster Technology (BPPTKG) recorded 9 times hot clouds and avalanches coming out of Mt. Merapi located in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Central Java. Mt. Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. Since 1548, this mountain has erupted 68 times. According to the records, Mt. Merapi erupts every two to five years and bigger eruptions occur around 10-15 years. The eruption in 1872 was considered the strongest one in the record of the modern era of geology. The big eruption in 2010 was estimated to also have the same power. The eruption in 1930, which destroyed thirteen villages and killed around 1.400 people, was the biggest eruption so far. In October 2010, Mt. Merapi erupted with hot cloud and hard boom. This was the biggest eruption in the last 100 years and resulted in 337casualties, dozens of villages damaged and hundreds of thousands of people evacuated. Until now, the Geological Disaster Research and Development Center still maintains the status of Mt. Merapi at Level II or Alert. Nevertheless, for the time being, the local residents are encouraged not to carry out activities within a three kilometer radius of the Mt. Merapi. In addition, hiking activities are suspended temporarily except for the purposes of investigation and research related to disaster mitigation. For information, there are 4 volcano statuses, namely Normal or basic level, which means that the volcano does not experience visual, seismic, and volcanic events. Then, Alert or Level II indicates an increase in volcanic activity. At this level, seismic and volcanic activity begins to emerge, and activity increases above the normal level. Furthermore, Alert or Level III indicates that the volcano has intensified seismic activity. There are visual changes in crater activity that can progress to eruptions. The last, Beware or Level IV indicates that the volcano is to immediately erupt and in a critical condition. This situation can cause disaster. The opening eruption starts with ash and steam, and has the opportunity to continue in approximately 24 hours. Of course, the eruption of Mt. Merapi is a natural process that cannot be avoided, as happened in 2010. The local residents are expected to improve awareness of the dangers of lava rain, especially when there is rain around the peak of Mt. Merapi. In addition, they must also obey the appeals and warnings submitted by the regional government and disaster mitigation agencies. Vigilance is very important to minimize the unexpected risk.

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