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Visitors keep their distance from Merapi SLEMAN - Tourist sites in Mt. Merapi's vicinity have suffered a 100 percent drop in visitor numbers since an alert status was declared for the restless volcano two weeks ago. Once crowded tourist sites near the volcano were deserted Sunday, the time of the week when they are usually thronged by visitors wanting to enjoy a clear sight of the towering mountain. Only locals and journalists mingled this past weekend.

"Many tourists usually visit Kaliadem every Sundays with their families or friends," said local Sulis, referring to the tourist site near Kaliurang, about 5 km from Merapi, in Sleman, Yogyakarta. Other popular areas, like Taman Plawangan park, Telogo Putri, Kaliurang recreational park and Merapi's observation post also were deserted.

Locals who depend on visitors for a living are feeling the pinch, such as Suwarti, a jadhah (sticky rice cake) seller in Merapi's observation post in Kaliurang. "This morning, I've sold nothing yet," said the 32-year-old, adding her cakes were usually sold out by the same time. Some food stalls around Kaliurang opted to close down, while owners of lodgings have few guests. Others complained about being left in limbo -- and suffering losses -- as people awaited an eruption.

Sriwedari lodging owner Basuki confessed that his 10-room hostel was empty. "I hope Merapi erupts soon so everything will return to normal. If the situation goes on like this, those of us who rely on tourists won't be able to earn a living" said the 35-year-old father of one. It's usual five-room daily occupancy has plummeted, with Basuki saying he is lucky to have one room occupied.

Marketing head of Sleman's Tourism Office, Evi Safitri, confirmed a 100 percent fall in the number of visitors to local sites. On ordinary days, up to 2,000 people visited tourist sites in Kaliurang a day and the number rose to 5,000 a day on weekends. "Kaliurang tourist sites are not closed but there's a drop in the number of visitors by 100 percent," she said.

The tourist object Telogo Putri is not closed, but tourists decide not to go anyway.The guy keeps on stand-by but doesn't collect money or give out tickets at the moment. He merely monitors the few activities of the local residents that didn't evacuate yet.
The tourist object Telogo Putri is not closed, but tourists decide not to go anyway.The guy keeps on stand-by but doesn't collect money or give out tickets at the moment. He merely monitors the few activities of the local residents that didn't evacuate yet.



Link to related event Related event:
Eruptive Mount Merapi

Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes'):
24 April 2006 · Villagers stay on rumbling volcano's slopes
23 April 2006 · Gunung Merapi ready to erupt in days
22 April 2006 · Volcano center: Red code status just a matter of time
22 April 2006 · Tourists, locals marvel at might of Merapi
21 April 2006 · Sulphur smoke from Merapi rises 500 meters


Posted in Volcanoes @ 25 April 2006 10:14 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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