Mount Merapi on Java Island erupts on Sunday, spewing a 1,500-meter ash column that blows to the west from its crater. (Antara Photo/Rudi)

Ashes From Merapi Eruption Disappear, but Rain at Crater Poses Greater Danger


NOVEMBER 17, 2019

Jakarta. The ashes from Mount Merapi eruption early on Sunday have disappeared. Still, the authority advised residents to remain on alert about rain at the crater that can trigger the deadly cold lava and debris flows into the rivers at the base of the mountain.  

“Based on BMKG [the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency] monitoring from Himawari satellite at 1 p.m. showed volcanic ashes were not detected anymore in the air,” Agus Wibowo, the spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said on Sunday.

However, people were urged to watch for lahar, especially when it was raining at the crater, Agus said. Lahar, or the rapid flow of cold lava, rocks, and debris, often destroys houses, roads and bridges on its path. 

The agency also advised the public to avoid the area within the three-kilometer radius from the crater, Agus said. 

Merapi erupted on Sunday morning, spewing a 1,500-meter ash column that blew to the west, away from the densely populated area in Yogyakarta. BMKG reported the volcanic ashes fell on at least two villages but did not disrupt any activities there.

Local authorities have yet to report any casualty or damage.

The authority kept Merapi danger level at "Waspada" or Alert status, one tier below the top alert, which was last issued in May last year.