Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupts with bursts of lava, ash – Times of India
Mount Merapi unleashed clouds of hot ash at least seven times since Sunday morning, as well as a series of fast-moving pyroclastic flows, a mixture of rock, debris, lava and gasses, said Hanik Humaida, who heads the city of Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center. The rumbling sound could be heard several kilometres away.
The eruption sent hot ash 1,000 m (3,280 feet) into the sky, and the searing clouds of gas travelled up to 3 km down its slopes several times, Indonesia’s Geology and Volcanology Research Agency said on its website.
Humaida said the mountain has seen increased volcanic activity in recent weeks, with its lava dome growing rapidly before partially collapsing Sunday, sending rocks and ash flowing down the volcano’s southwest flank.
Ash from the eruption blanketed several villages and nearby towns, she added.
Villagers living on Merapi’s fertile slopes were advised to stay 5 km away from the crater’s mouth and be aware of the danger posed by lava, the Geology and Volcanology Research Agency said.
However, the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center did not raise Merapi’s alert status, which already was at the second-highest of four levels since it began erupting last November.
Mount Merapi is the most active of more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia and has repeatedly erupted recently. But Merapi’s last major eruption was in 2010, when 347 people were killed.
The 2,968-metre (9,737-foot) peak is near Yogyakarta, an ancient city of several hundred thousand people embedded in a large metro area. The city is also a centre of Javanese culture and a seat of royal dynasties going back centuries.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the ocean.