Eruption at Mount Merapi, estimated volume of lava dome 458 000 cubic meters, Indonesia

Eruption at Mount Merapi, estimated volume of lava dome 458 000 cubic meters, Indonesia

An eruption at one of Indonesia's most active volcanos, Mount Merapi, produced ash column up to 3 768 m (12 326 feet) above sea level on June 3, 2019. By June 1, the volcano had emitted 72 ash columns from its crater since it entered a new effusive eruption phase on January 29, 2019. Residents are warned to remain outside of the 3 km (1.6 miles) exclusion zone.

Based on ash column activity, the volcano's lava dome could potentially cause a lava avalanche of 458 000 m3 (1.5 million ft3) in volume that would move up to 3 km (1.86 miles) from the crater towards the river Gendol, Indonesia's Geological Disaster Research and Development Centre Agency head Hanik Humaida said.

In addition, the agency reported multiphase and low frequency tremors occurring at the crater of the volcano, which is a popular hiking spot on the border of Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces.

"Based on those volcanic activities, the volcano status remains on caution alert level (2 of 4). A 3 km radius exclusion zone from the crater remains in place and tourist objects outside the exclusion zone are safe for tourists to visit," Humaida said.

People living in KRB III are urged to follow the activity of the volcano.

The 2 968 m (9 737 feet) high Mount Merapi's last deadly eruption was in 2010. Its last major eruption took place in 2018, causing evacuation of people living within a 5 km (3.1 miles) radius and temporarily closing Yogyakarta's airport.

Geological summary

Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano.

Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2 000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. 

Subsequently, the growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time.

Featured image: Wikivoyage


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