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Govt boosts alert level at huge volcano, fearing eruption YOGYAKARTA - Indonesia raised the alert status of a massive volcano on Java Island to the second-highest level, warning increased activity at its crater means it could erupt anytime, volcanologists said Thursday. Monitors have been watching Merapi closely for several weeks and late Wednesday raised its status to “Beware,” one notch below the highest level that requires immediate evacuation of villagers living on its slopes.

“An eruption could happen at any time,” said Heru Suparogo, from a monitoring station overlooking the crater of the 2,968-metre mountain. Mr. Suparogo said instruments in the crater have recorded an increase in quakes inside the mountain, which he said are a sign an eruption is likely. The mountain was also spewing smoke some 250 metres into the air -- much higher than normal -- another indication it might blow its top, he said.

Villagers living nearby have already been told to prepare for a possible evacuation. Merapi is one of the most active of at least 129 volcanoes in Indonesia. The country is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire” -- a series of volcanoes and fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia. Merapi's last major eruption was in 1994, killing at least 43 people. It is about 400 kilometres east of the capital Jakarta.

Gunung Merapi (Mount Merapi) in an previous period of high activity back in 2002.
Gunung Merapi (Mount Merapi) in an previous period of high activity back in 2002.



Link to related event Related event:
Eruptive Mount Merapi

Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes'):
12 April 2006 · Govt bans climbers as Mount Merapi volcano heats up
20 March 2006 · Villagers living on Gunung Merapi volcano put on alert
14 January 2006 · 10 volcanoes in Indonesia declared in alert status
14 April 2005 · Eight other vulcanoes with higher activity
11 November 2002 · Thousands flee volcano in Indonesia


Posted in Volcanoes @ 13 April 2006 07:09 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





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