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Merapi activity slows down, but still dangerous YOGYAKARTA - Activity of Mt. Merapi slowed down on Saturday, but Yogyakarta's Volcano Research Center had not removed the red code status of the volcano as its activity could still increase anytime, an official said. Data collected by the Center from midnight to 6 a.m. on Saturday showed that the volcano spewed 43 times of hot gas, flowing some one kilometer away from the peak.

Mt. Merapi, the most dangerous mountain in the country, has been venting steam and debris for more than a month. On Thursday, the hot gas downed the slope up to 5 kilometers. The Center estimated that the hot clouds would not flow farther than sevenkilometer. "After analyzing data (of Merapi activity) which we monitor, we still maintain the red code status," Subandriyo, a volcanologist, working for the Center, was quoted by Antara news agency as saying.

Scientists, however, said they don't know for sure if a major eruption is imminent. "Sometimes I am afraid, but we have the responsibility of protecting these people," Ismail, who was working at a monitoring station four kilometers from Merapi's peak, was quoted by AP as saying. Asked if a major eruption is looming, he said: "This is a real possibility, but no one knows for sure."

Merapi's lava dome has swelled, raising concerns that it could suddenly collapse and send scalding clouds of fast-moving gas, rocks and debris into still-populated areas. Some scientists say a massive May 27 earthquake that killed more than 5,700 people in an area 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Merapi may have contributed to the restive mountain'svolatility in recent weeks.

Authorities last month raised Merapi's level to the highest level and urged residents living near the volcano to evacuate.More than 20,000 packed their belongings and headed to makeshift camps set up in schools, mosques and government offices.


Link to related event Related event:
Eruptive Mount Merapi

Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes'):
08 June 2006 · Merapi spews lava and gas in large eruption
07 June 2006 · 11,000 evacuated as Mount Merapi volcano spews ash and lava
06 June 2006 · Merapi volcano lava dome raises eruption concerns
04 June 2006 · Mount Merapi volcano continuing spewing lava
03 June 2006 · Mount Merapi becomes more active


Posted in Volcanoes @ 10 June 2006 10:53 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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