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Thousands return to slopes of Mount Merapi YOGYAKARTA - Thousands of villagers returned to ash-covered homes along the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano Monday, after the government said some areas well away from the fiery crater appeared out of danger from another eruption.

The notoriously unpredictable volcano in the heart of Java island roared back to life on Oct. 26, killing more than 259 people in a series of eruptions, according to the National Disaster Management Agency. Merapi was still rumbling and spewing searing ash and debris Monday, said state volcanologist Surono, but activity has dropped sharply in recent days.

After spending nearly three weeks in crowded emergency camps, the villagers headed up Mount Merapi loaded down with mats, blankets and clothes to find almost everything they had was gone, said Lilik Sujati, the chief of Jati, a village on Mount Merapi. "Their houses are covered in thick ash; their crops can't be harvested," he said. "We need to find some way to help them. Many don't have anything to eat."

The government has responded to the slow down in activity by reducing the "danger-zone" - which had been at 20 kilometers for more than a week - to six miles (10 kilometers) from the crater on the northern and western flanks. That has allowed some of the more than 390,000 evacuees to return home. Herry Bakti Gumay, a Transportation Ministry official, said the airport of Yogyakarta would stay closed until at least Saturday due to risks posed by lingering clouds of volcanic ash.

Merapi is the most active in Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 235 million people that is prone to seismic activity because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped string of faults that lines the Pacific Ocean.


Related link Related link:
Activity history for Mount Merapi

Link to related event Related event:
Eruptive Mount Merapi

Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes'):
16 November 2010 · Yogyakarta airport closed until at least November 20
15 November 2010 · Thick volcanic deposits hamper search for victims
14 November 2010 · Activity Mount Merapi volcano decreasing
13 November 2010 · Death toll rises to 240 in Merapi eruptions
13 November 2010 · Hot weather slows search for Mount Merapi victims
12 November 2010 · More hot ash clouds as Mount Merapi seems to cool down

Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Tags: Merapi, volcano, eruption, evacuation, dead, chaos


Posted in Volcanoes @ 16 November 2010 07:44 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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