Mount Merapi Erupts, Situation Remains Normal

The Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development (BPPTKG) reported here on Monday that Mount Merapi had erupted, and spewed volcanic ash as well as smoke column that rose 700 meter from the crater.

“A low level phreatic eruption had occurred at 01:25 a.m. local time, Monday (May 21) for 19 minutes, with the smoke column rose by 700 m from the crater, as observed by the officials at the Babadan Station,” the agency said in a statement.

The volcanic ash, the agency added, had affected the volcano`s western area.

Despite of the eruption, the seismic amplitude remains in the normal level at 20 millimeter.

Following the eruption, the Yogyakarta Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) said that the locals living at the volcano`s foothills claimed they were not aware about the eruption.

“The mild volcanic ash had fallen in the southern slope of the volcano`s western area. However now, the crater had stopped spewing the (ash) rain,” Wahyu Pristiawan, the office`s quick disaster response team (TRC) commander said.

Because the eruption level was lower than the previous phreatic burst on May 11, Pristiawan said that the office will not evacuate the locals.

“The situation now remains under control. We call on the people to put masks to anticipate the volcanic ash and smoke,” he stressed.

On May 11, the volcano had a low-level phreatic eruption and spewed smokes, volcanic ash, sand, and pyroclastic material from the crater.

“The eruption took place suddenly. It was a phreatic eruption that was triggered by a boost of water vapor pressure due to the contact of water masses with heat under the crater of Mount Merapi,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson of National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said in a statement.

However, Nugroho said that the type of eruption was harmless, and the status of the volcano remained normal.

“The status of Mount Merapi to date is still normal (Level I) with dangerous radius is three kilometers from the top of the crater. The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) does not raise the status of Mount Merapi and still keep monitoring the development of volcanic activities,” Nugroho reiterated.


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