Authorities were forced to ban mining and tourism on the slopes of Indonesia’s most active volcano after Mount Merapi erupted on Saturday with avalanches of blistering gas clouds and lava.
Indonesia’s Mount Merapi has erupted, forcing officials to halt mining and tourism operations on the volcano’s slopes and pouring smoke and ash that covered towns close to the crater. Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in the world.
The Yogyakarta special region volcano in Indonesia erupted at approximately 12 p.m. (0 5:00 GMT) on Saturday, sending up to seven kilometres (4.3 miles) down its slopes in clouds of hot ash and a mixture of rock, lava, and gas.
On the crowded island of Java, the volcano Merapi erupted, sending clouds of hot ash and a mixture of rock, lava, and gas as far as 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) down its slopes. According to Abdul Muhari, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, a column of heated vapors soared 100 metres (yards) into the air.
The eruption, which lasted the entire day, obscured the sun and covered several settlements in falling ash. There have been no recorded casualties.
According to Hanik Humaida, director of Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center, it was Merapi’s largest lava flow since authorities increased the alert level to the second-highest in November 2020.
She added it was recommended for those living on Merapi’s slopes to stay 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) away from the crater’s mouth and to be mindful of the risk that lava poses.
Mining and tourism operations were suspended.
The mountain’s distance from Yogyakarta, an ancient centre of Javanese culture and the residence of centuries-old royal dynasties, is roughly 30 kilometres (18 miles). A quarter of a million people reside within six miles (10 kilometres) of the volcano.
Of the more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, Merapi is the most active and has recently erupted numerous times with lava and gas clouds. 347 people died in its most recent significant eruption in 2010, which also caused 20,000 villager displacements.
Due to its location within the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped network of seismic fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean, Indonesia, an island of 270 million people, is vulnerable to earthquakes and volcanic activity.
Mount Semeru, the tallest volcano on Java Island, erupted in December 2021, killing 48 people and leaving 36 others missing.
One of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, the 9,721-foot-tall Merapi is 2,963 metres tall and was already on the nation’s second-highest alert level.
Yulianto, a local monitoring station official, said that no residents have been evacuated.
“There have been 5–6 avalanches, but this has only been seen once. It is likely that households may be advised to evacuate if the coverage continues to rise and the distance exceeds 7 kilometres “, he said.