Public advised caution as Mount Merapi ejects hot clouds

Yogyakarta Mount Merapi released hot clouds rising nearly 200 meters above the crater, the second time on Thursday, the Geological Disaster Investigation and Technology Development Agency (BPPTKG) reported in Yogyakarta.

Earlier on Thursday, the volcano also spewed nine lava streams sliding as far as 500 meters to Kali Krasak, a river in southwestern Merapi, according to the geological agency.

Despite several volcanic activities at Merapi, the BPPTKG maintained Merapi’s alert status to the second-highest level III, or alert, the agency’s chairwoman, Hanik Humaida, noted in a statement today.

In her statement, Humaida urged residents and tourists to stay outside a five-kilometer radius from Merapi’s peak, as her office had spotted some potential risk to public activities in the region.

“We will continue to observe the situation of the volcano, and residents should please follow any updated information and instructions announced by the local governments,” Humaida stated while referring to the administrations in Sleman District, Yogyakarta; Magelang District, Central Java; and Boyolali District in Central Java Province. The geological agency also advised local miners to halt any activities in rivers at the Disaster Prone Area (KRB) III — areas within a three-kilometer radius of Merapi’s peak — while urging hikers and tourism agents to suspend any activities, including climbing, to the volcano’s peak.

Merapi recorded several eruptions since last year, thereby leading to hundreds of people residing on the volcano’s slopes being compelled to leave their homes and to stay at temporary shelters built by local governments in the provinces of Yogyakarta and Central Java.

Following today’s volcanic activities, Sleman District’s Disaster Mitigation Office reported having followed BPPTKG’s instructions, including readying evacuation shelters, logistics, and any tools required to prevent COVID-19 infection at camps.

The office’s head of emergency and logistics, Makwan, stated on Thursday that his office had evacuated residents in three villages located at the southern slope of Merapi. Kalitengah Lor, Kalitengah Kidul, and Srunen are the three villages that are part of disaster-prone areas, he remarked.

Source: Antara News