Published on : Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Indonesia’s most active volcano has erupted twice, spewing ash and hot gas in a 6-kilometre high column into the sky. Mount Merapi, located between the Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, produced thick clouds of ash that blanketed several villages on the main island of Java.
Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre did not raise the volcano’s alert status, which was already set at the third-highest level since it began erupting in August.
The agency warned against any activities on the volcano except for important research and observation related to disaster mitigation efforts, and recommended that villagers living on the slopes of the volcano stay at least three kilometres away from the mouth of the crater.
The Yogyakarta Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Centre (BPPTKG) said in a statement, the current danger is hot clouds rolling down from the peak and other volcanic material from an explosive eruption.
Mount Merapi stands 2,968-meters (9,737-feet) high and is the most active of 500 Indonesian volcanos. An eruption in March forced the closure of the airport in the city of Surakarta, also known as Solo, in Java.
Its last major violent eruption in 2010 forced nearly 400,000 people to evacuate their homes and killed 353 people. The authorities said it was the largest eruption since the 1870s. The volcanic activity is a daily part of life for Indonesia’s 270 million-strong population as the archipelago is located along the Pacific “Ring or Fire”, a series of fault lines around the ocean.