Indonesia Bans Activities Around Merapi Volcano

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Aug 14 (NNN-ANTARA) – Indonesian authorities banned residents and trekkers from doing activities, within three kilometres from the summit of Mount Merapi, as the volcano, located between Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, still spews hot lava until today (Wednesday).

Mount Merapi spewed the hot lava as far as 950 metres, heading upstream of Gendol River, in the two provinces’ border area, at 04:52 Jakarta time, Spokesperson of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Agus Wibowo, said.

The hot lava emission, lasting around 95 seconds, was recorded to have maximum amplitude of 50 millimetres, he added.

The volcano that stands at 2,968 metres above sea level, has been showing significant escalation of volcanic activities in the last several days, with 10 intense land tremors recorded in various degrees on Saturday.

Emergency status of the volcano was set at level II, from the top alert of level IV.

“All mountain climbing activities, except for research and mitigation activities, are not recommended. Residents are strongly advised to remain vigilant over the escalating activities of the volcano,” Agus said in a statement, referring to the ban applied due to the latest development.

The Mount Merapi eruption that ensued from Oct to Nov, 2010, killed 353 people, forcing the authorities to evacuate over 350,000 residents in the affected areas.– NNN-ANTARA