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Officials: Gunung Papandayan dangerous JAKARTA - Relevant authorities warned on Friday that activity at Mt. Papandayan, which experienced a major explosion early on Friday, has reached alarming levels, forcing thousands of people living within a radius of four kilometers (km) from its peak to flee. Mas Atje Purbawinata, a volcanologist from the directorate general for volcanology affairs and mitigation at Bandung, West Java, declared here on Friday that the volcano's status was raised to that of dangerous due to an increase in its activities after a major eruption at 6:33 a.m. on Friday.
"According to our monitoring and seismographic records, the volcano, after its major eruption early this morning (Friday), has shown increasing activity by continually spewing hot ash and thick smoke to a height of 6,000 meters. "Consequently, everyone living within a radius of four km of the volcano's crater must flee to prevent them from being covered in hot ash and from breathing possible noxious gases," he told The Jakarta Post at a monitoring site.
Purbawinata added that besides, the mountain could trigger hot or cold mudflows if it continued raining above the crater, endangering villages located on the banks of several rivers flowing down the slopes of the volcano. "The volcano poses two serious threats to local people -- hot ash and mudflows. Garut regent Dede Satibi said the local administration had evacuated the villages of Cibiung, Pangauban, Dungus, Cipelah, Cibeureum, Naringgul and Cipaniisan, and more than 2,000 villagers were taking shelter in makeshift accommodation, mosques, school buildings and the premises of the local military.
"So far, there have been no problems for the refugees, while humanitarian relief has continued flowing in from various quarters, including the central and provincial governments and private companies," he said. Many villagers have stayed at home due to fresh fears of looting, while observing the volcano's activities. Udin, a resident of Cibiung village, said he had taken his wife and two children to a refuge camp in Cisurupan and then returned home to keep watch on their belongings.
Purbawinata said his office had established contact with air transportation authorities, both at home and in Australia, in order to give them an early warning of possible disruption to flight paths. "Thick smoke spewing out of the volcano could endanger airliners using the airspace in its vicinity," he said. Wimpy S. Tjetjep, another expert from the directorate general of volcanology affairs and mitigation, said the volcano had spewed out more than one million cubic meters of volcanic material, including silica, magnesium and sulfur, which would be dangerous to humans if it were mixed with the mudflows moving toward the Cileutik, Cibeureum and Cimanuk Rivers flowing from the volcano.
Meanwhile, director general of water resources at the Ministry of Resettlement and Regional Infrastructure Rustam Syarif said that some 2,600 hectares of paddy field in the regency were suffering a shortage of water as the mudflows had damaged several dams on the Cibeureum River. "About Rp 7.5 billion (US$830,000) to Rp 10 billion would be needed to repair the damaged dams over the next five years," he said.


Link to related event Related event:
Mount Papandayan volcano


Posted in Volcanoes @ 16 November 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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