Ibu volcano alert raised to highest, evacuation centers prepared, Indonesia

ibu volcano eruption may 15 2024

The Alert Level for Indonesia’s Ibu volcano was raised to 4 — the highest, on May 16, 2024, following a surge in volcanic activity.

The Alert Level for Ibu volcano was raised from II to III (Siaga) — the second-highest — on May 8 after the first signs of increased activity and to Level IV (Awas) on Thursday, May 16, after volcanic activity at the volcano further increased.

Results of visual and instrumental monitoring showed significant signs of increased activity since mid-April 2024, marked by a series of deep volcanic and intense shallow earthquakes, indicating magma migration to shallower depths.

The eruption columns from Ibu volcano tend to reach heights of about 5 000 m (16 404 feet) from the summit crater, while incandescent lava ejection has extended to a radius of 1.5 km (0.93 miles) from the crater rim, Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) said on May 16.

Based on these observations, the activity level was raised to ensure public safety and prepare for potential hazards.

ibu hazard map may 16 2024

Recommendations for communities and visitors include avoiding activities within a 4 km (2.5 miles) radius and a 7 km (4.3 miles) sector from the northern part of the crater. Those outside these zones should remain vigilant and follow local government directives. In case of ash falls, residents are advised to use masks and goggles for protection.

Local authorities, led by PVMBG head Hendra Gunawan, have prepared evacuation tents.

The population within a 5 km (3 miles) radius on the northern side of the crater exceeds 13 000 people. However, by Friday morning (LT), May 17 just about 400 people evacuated.

“Until today, the evacuees continue to arrive and as of this morning, the preliminary data that we have is around 400 people (evacuated),” Ade told AFP on Friday.

mount marapi 3d map 2024
Image credit: Google, TW

A strong eruption was recorded on May 13, 2024, at 00:12 UTC, with a thick ash column rising to 6.4 km (21 000 feet) above sea level. This followed a similar eruption on May 10, which produced an ash column up to 5.3 km (17 388 feet) a.s.l.

The recent eruptions are the strongest since May 2020, when an ash column reached 13.7 km (45 000 feet) a.s.l.

ibu eruption may 13 2024
Eruption at Ibu volcano on May 13, 2024. Credit: PVMBG
ibu eruption may 9 2024
Eruption at Ibu volcano on May 9, 2024. Credit: PVMBG

Ibu volcano has been highly active, with over 80 eruptions this year and more than 21 000 eruptions recorded last year, averaging about 58 per day. The volcano’s first recorded eruption occurred in 1911, and activity resumed in December 1998 with the formation of a lava dome, leading to continuous explosive ash emissions.

The current condition includes significant growth of the lava dome within the crater, which has extended beyond the crater walls, causing lava avalanches to the north and northwest. Communities are advised to monitor updates through the MAGMA Indonesia application or relevant geological websites and social media.


1 Penyampaian Kenaikan Tingkat Aktivitas G. Ibu Dari Level III (Siaga) Menjadi Level IV (Awas) – PVMBG – May 16, 2024

2 Ibu volcano alert level at second-highest after strong eruptions, Indonesia – The Watchers – May 13, 2024


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