Indonesia Mount Merapi eruption : 8 rescue workers killed!

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8 Rescue workers killed on Mount Merapi

The bodies of four members of the Disaster Response Team were recovered from the slopes of Mount Merapi on Monday before rescue officials had to retreat as the volcano again roared into life.
Six bodies were recovered from the village of Glagaharjo in Sleman, Yogyakarta. The bodies of another two members of the response team, known as Tagana, believed to have been killed when Merapi exploded last Thursday, are yet to be found or recovered.
Some crazy people are still attempting to take advantage of the situation.
On Sunday, police arrested a man for attempting to steal livestock abandoned by those fleeing the eruptions.
The man was arrested attempting to steal 21 goats and five cows, but two accomplices managed to escape.
Excerpt from a JakartaGlobe article. Please read the much longer original article

People flee Yogjakarta as the eruption of Mount Merapi continues

Frightened residents in a bustling city of 400,000 at the foot of Indonesia’s rumbling volcano headed out of town Monday, cramming onto trains and buses and even rented vehicles to seek refuge with family and friends far away.
“My parents have been calling … saying ‘You have to get out of there! You have to come home!’” said Linda Ervana, a 21-year-old history student who was waiting with friends at a train station in the university town of Yogyakarta, 30 kilometers from Mount Merapi.
After failing to get tickets, they finally decided to rent a minibus with other classmates.
The notoriously unpredictable mountain unleashed its most powerful eruption in a century Friday, sending hot clouds of gas, rocks and debris avalanching down its slopes at highway speeds, smothering entire villages and leaving a trail of charred corpses in its path.
Excerpt from a JakartaGlobe article. Please read the much longer original article

Search for bodies stopped due to too high temperatures

Indonesian rescue workers were forced to abandon efforts to retrieve bodies of victims from the Nov. 5 eruption of Mount Merapi in central Java, as increasing ground temperature and volcanic instability made it unsafe to continue.
Rescuers had been using wooden boards to walk on in areas where the soil reached temperatures higher than 70 degrees Celsius, Oka Hamid, a spokesman at Red Cross Indonesia’s Yogyakarta branch, said today.
“We found five bodies at Glagaharjo village, but only one was removed,” Hamid said by phone. “We are coming down now because the ground there is too hot and Merapi is unstable.”
Non-flammable boots and special gloves are needed to protect rescuers from hot burning soil, Hamid said.
Excerpt from a JakartaGlobe article. Please read the much longer original article

The latest death toll climbs to 141 with still bodies to recover

Indonesia Mt Merapi eruption : people still enter the danger zone

Pyroclastic flows at Mayon Volcano, Philippine...

A good example of a deadly pyroclastic flow running down the slopes of Mayon volcano at high speed - Image via Wikipedia

Excerpt from a JakartaGlobe article. Please read the much longer original article

As martial law is not yet declared police is not able to stop people entering the extremely dangerous 20 km zone.

Merapi continues to belch out deadly pyroclastic flows, clouds of superheated ash and gases, in what geologists say is the volcano’s most powerful eruption in more than a century.
At least 135 people have died on its slopes over the past two weeks, and authorities were still struggling on Sunday to help those injured from Friday’s massive eruption.

The National Police on Friday even temporarily closed at least three police subprecincts located 10 kilometers from the crater. But none of these seem to bother the insistent public.
Pakem Police chief Adj. Comr. Harijanto said on Sunday that he had run out of breath from repeatedly telling people to move as far away from the danger zone as possible.
The trespassers on Sunday were mostly curious folk, “not villagers concerned about the welfare of their livestock,” he said.

Hantoro, chief of Sleman Police’s Mobile Brigade unit (Brimob), has been overseeing a checkpoint in Ngemplak since Friday and has heard almost every excuse from those desperate to get into the danger zone.
“Don’t be so reckless. This is very dangerous,” Hantoro told a young man on Saturday evening.
“I have to get my diploma; it’s still up there,” the man replied. “Aren’t you afraid of dying?”
Hantoro said, to which the man replied: “I’d rather die than not get my diploma.”
As the man went past him, Hantoro reminded him that the police were no longer responsible for his safety.
“I hope the rescue team doesn’t end up finding your corpse,” he said. 

Dozens of young couples on motorcycles rode past reluctant officers, saying they needed to go to the Islamic University of Indonesia (UII) campus, located within the danger zone, to fetch archives, books and computers.
When the majority did not return an hour later, officers went searching for them in the dark but could not find anyone.
Most who tried to enter the danger zone said they wanted to spend Saturday night at the hill resorts that had been deserted in Sleman.

Entire villages have also been abandoned.
Markets, shops, schools, two hospitals and a bus station were also shut down.
We don’t understand why the villagers still go home to feed their livestock even though the president has guaranteed compensation for lost or dead cattle,” said a Police spokeswoman.

Indonesia : Mt Merapi biggest eruption since Tuesday – again people killed

Merapi volcano Indonesia - Click here to go the JakartaGlobe article

UPDATE 07/11 22:20 UTC
After more than 130 killed people, people are still entering the 20 km danger zone. Police cannot stop them as martial law has not been declared yet.
Read the full article

UPDATE 04/11 – 10:00 UTC
Reuters has just released a report that again 6 people have been killed by the latest violent eruption of the Merapi volcano.

UPDATE 04/11 – 10:00 UTC
In its biggest eruption since Tuesday evening, Mount Merapi ejected volcanic ash and other material over a 2 kilometers radius early on Thursday morning.
Surono, head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG), said the ash was being blown in a westerly direction toward Magelang in Central Java.
“We warned the aviation authorities to divert flights to Adi Sutjipto Airport, Yogyakarta,” he said.
Heavy rain overnight Wednesday triggered lahars that cascaded down the Kuning, Gendol, Woro, Boyong, Krasak and Opak rivers on the slopes of the volcano.
There is a strong smell of sulphur around the mountain, adding to the general unease in cities near the volcano.
More Indonesian residents, meanwhile, sought shelter after authorities extended the minimum safety distance to 15 kilometers from 10 kilometers following the latest blast.
About 75,770 people stayed at evacuation centers at four regencies in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces, compared with 74,933 yesterday, Furqon Chavid Setianto, an official at the National Disaster Management Agency.
Excerpt of an article of the JakartaGlobe – Click here to read the entire article

UPDATE 29/10 – 09:30 UTC
Video footage of Australia’s TenNews of the funeral for the killed people

Indonesia’s volcanoes Anak Krakatau, Mt Karangetang and Mt Ibu also on alert levels

Krakatoa or Krakatau or Krakatao is a volcanic...

Krakatau volcano in Sunda street - Image via Wikipedia

Amid the ongoing eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java, the authorities have warned that two other volcanoes are on heightened alert, while a third has produced 117 small eruptions since Wednesday.

The eruptions from Anak Krakatau, in the Sunda Strait, were audible as far as Serang district in Banten, about 40 kilometers away. The volcano is on Level 2 alert, meaning “beware.”

The two others, Mount Karangetang on Siau Island in North Sulawesi and Mount Ibu on Halmahera Island in North Maluku, are a level higher on “standby,” just one level below a full alert on Level 4.

Karangetang is considered the most active volcano in the archipelago, with 41 major eruptions since 1675. Its last eruption, on Aug. 6, is believed to have killed four people.

Excerpt from Jakarta Globe, we encourage to read the entire article

See also the Krakatau in action video from an American tourist sailor

Indonesia : Merapi volcano eruption – latest news

UPDATE 29/10 – 09:30 UTC
Video footage of Australia’s TenNews of the funeral for the killed people

A. lesto P. Kusumo, Source: my documntation, M...

Image via Wikipedia

UPDATE 29/10 – 09:07 UTC
Excerpt of an article from Indonesia Antaranews which we would like our readers to read
Mount Merapi is still spewing hot clouds after the eruption on Tuesday.
The volcano was recorded to have spewed hot spots twice on Friday at 06.00 a.m. to 09.00 a.m. local time.
“Hot clouds are still coming out that we declare the Mount Merapi status to `beware`,” the head of Geology Agency, R Syukar said here Friday.
The data from Investigation and Technology Development of Volcanology Board of Yogyakarta(BPPTK) showed the first hot cloud was emitted at 06.10 a.m. at the local time for three minutes, while the second one was at 08.41 a.m. at the local time occurring for nine minutes.
However, the BBPTK failed to confirm the direction of the hot clouds as the Merapi`s peak was covered with mist.
Despite hot clouds, there were also 87 avalanches, 53 multiphase temblors, and 16 volcanic temblors recorded.
BPPTK spotted a motionless fire hot spot at the mount peak that might lead to the formation of new lava dome.

UPDATE 28/10 – 08:44 UTC
Death toll of Mt. Merapi rises to 32.
2 seriously burned people have perished from their wounds.
Most of the deaths were people who did not followed the governments advice to evacuate from their houses.
Identification of the heavily burned bodies was extremely difficult. Thus, the body of supposedly Mbah Maridjan, the spiritual gatekeeper of the volcano, had to be identified by his DNA. 4 rows of hot pyroclastic clouds have devastated the village of Kinahrejo on the slopes of the volcano. All houses have been burned down in this village.

UPDATE 27/10 – 08:39 UTC
Reuters reported a few moments ago that at least 28 people have been killed and 14 injured by erupting Mount Merapi. Many houses have been destroyed and the slopes of the volcano are covered with a thick layer of ash.
Prove of a pyroclastic flow is that some bodies were almost unrecognizable, as they were burned by the superheated gases from the volcano.

Indonesia : Merapi eruption – picture before and after the hot ash cloud

The picture below gives an idea how terribly hot a pyroclastic flow can be.
Th hot ash clouds are burning everything on their way. Nature but also people and infrastructure are charred.
Similar pictures exist from the eruption / explosion of Mount St Helens in Whasington, United States.

Left and right pictures are the same hill.
Left picture was shot on October 25 before the eruption
Right picture was shot on October 28 after some hot ash clouds.

Pictures courtesy kompas.com, Indonesian website - Click on the picture to go to the kompas.com website

 

Indonesia : Merapi volcano erupts – 25 people killed on the slopes of the volcano

A. lesto P. Kusumo, Source: my documntation, M...

Image via Wikipedia

UPDATE 28/10 – 08:44 UTC
Death toll of Mt. Merapi rises to 32.
2 seriously burned people have perished from their wounds.
Most of the deaths were people who did not followed the governments advice to evacuate from their houses.
Identification of the heavily burned bodies was extremely difficult. Thus, the body of supposedly Mbah Maridjan, the spiritual gatekeeper of the volcano, had to be identified by his DNA. 4 rows of hot pyroclastic clouds have devastated the village of Kinahrejo on the slopes of the volcano. All houses have been burned down in this village.

UPDATE 27/10 – 08:39 UTC
Reuters reported a few moments ago that at least 28 people have been killed and 14 injured by erupting Mount Merapi. Many houses have been destroyed and the slopes of the volcano are covered with a thick layer of ash.
Prove of a pyroclastic flow is that some bodies were almost unrecognizable, as they were burned by the superheated gases from the volcano.

UPDATE 27/10 – 06:39 UTC
The dead toll is climbing after the first pyroclastic cloud eruption on Mt Merapi. 25 people have lost their live so far.
One of the victims was the mountain’s spiritual gatekeeper.
Seismologists are unsure whether Tuesdays eruption took enough pressure from the volcano to avoid further problems.
The risk of a major explosive eruption with a powerful and devastating adjacent pyroclastic hot cloud is still present. They are continuously following the tremors and are analyzing gases to predict the state of alert. It can take many more days before the people living on the volcano slopes are allowed to return to their houses.
We encourage to read a very good article in the Jakarta Post

UPDATE 19:45 UTC
Fifteen people were reportedly killed in Mount Merapi`s hot clouds on Tuesday with four of them found inside and 11 others outside the home of Mt Merapi caretaker Ki Surakso Hargo, popularly known as Mbah Maridjan. Read more in Antara News Agency

Indonesia’s volcano in dessely populated Central Java erupted on Tuesday afternoon, spewing hot ashes, pushing thousands of people to evacuate, head of volcanology monitoring unit at Volcanology Afgency Muhammad Hendratno said.

Mount Merapi of 2,968 meters high erupted three times, the first eruption was at 17:02 p.m. Jakarta time (1002 GMT), Hendratmo told Xinhua.

Local television reported one baby died after suffering from respiratory problem and 20 others suffered from serious injuries from hot ash.

Hendratmo said that the eruption was the beginning of the eruption phase.

Observer at monitoring post for Mount Merapi in Sleman district of Yoyakarta Heru Saparwoko told Xinhua by phone from the district that the cloud had hampered them to monitor how far the hot ash has spread. “We will keep monitoring the peak of eruption,” he said.

The television footage footage displayed thousands of panic residence rush to leave the dangerous area by car or other vehicles to take shelters in baracks.

This article is partly an excerpt from Xinhua, Chinese news agency – please read the full content here

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