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Merapi volcano lava dome raises eruption concerns YOGYAKARTA - The lava dome on Indonesia's Mount Merapi is increasing, raising concerns the volcano will erupt and add to the chaos in central Java after last month's earthquake that killed more than 5,800 people. Mount Merapi, which is about 60 kilometers (35 miles) from the center of the May 27 earthquake near the city of Yogyakarta, has been emitting more gas, lava and ash in recent days, Agus Sampurno, an officer on duty at the Volcano Development and Research in Yogyakarta, said in a phone interview today.

Merapi, considered the country's most dangerous volcano, has been on the brink of an eruption for almost a month. The potential for Merapi to erupt is diverting resources and manpower from Indonesian authorities and aid agencies already struggling to provide supplies and medical aid for quake survivors. Officials estimate as many as 650,000 people were made homeless by the 6.3 magnitude quake, the worst natural disaster to hit Indonesia since the 2004 tsunami.

Merapi's lava dome almost doubled in size to at least 4 million cubic meters (141 million cubic feet) from 2.3 million cubic meters before the quake. Since the earthquake the lava dome has grown around 20 meters to 120 meters high. " The lava dome is relatively intact, but the quake may have caused it to become unstable,'' Sampurno said. Some residents have left temporary shelters and returned to their homes on the slopes of the mountain to tend to their crops and livestock, which is putting their lives at risk, John Bugge, a spokesman at the U.K.-based Save the Children aid group, said in a phone interview from Yogyakarta today.

As much as 17,000 people live in the danger zone on the fertile slopes of the volcano. The volcano is considered Indonesia's most dangerous because of its proximity to large population centers, the U.S. Geological Survey said in a May 17 press release on the mountain.


Link to related event Related event:
Eruptive Mount Merapi

Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes'):
04 June 2006 · Mount Merapi volcano continuing spewing lava
03 June 2006 · Mount Merapi becomes more active
26 May 2006 · Tourist sites around Mount Merapi reopen
24 May 2006 · Mount Merapi spews more heat clouds and lava
22 May 2006 · Merapi evacuees begin leaving camps as danger recedes


Posted in Volcanoes @ 06 June 2006 11:29 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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