Indonesia Mount Merapi eruption : 8 rescue workers killed!

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Image by baligraph via Flickr

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 : 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

Indonesia : Merapi volcano erupts – 20 people hurt by hot ashes, others flee the area

For the latest updates : click here

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.

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

Yogyakarta (Java) fears an explosive eruption of Merapi volcano

Merapi in 1930

Merapi volcano in 1930, Image via Wikipedia

Excerpt of an article in the Jakarta Globe

Lava from Mount Merapi in Central Java began flowing down the Gendol River over the weekend, signaling an eruption could be imminent, a geologist said on Sunday.

The volcano, one of the world’s most active, last erupted in June 2006 shortly after the Yogyakarta earthquake, when a pyroclastic flow, or a fast-moving cloud of superheated gas, ran down its slopes and killed two people.
Pyroclastic flows can be devastating for goods and all living creatures near the eruption crater.

But Surono, head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG), said the distension of the mountain’s slopes was much more rapid this time around, indicating a higher-pressure build-up of gas and hence a much more explosive eruption.

“We believe Merapi will erupt explosively, as it did in 1930, and not just spew gas like in 2006,” he said.

“However, that scenario is only a guess. No one really knows when Merapi will erupt and how much volcanic material it will spew out.”

The eruption in 1930 wiped out 13 villages on the slopes of the mountain, killing around 1,400 people.

Merapi volcano lies the backyard of Jogjakarta, one of Indonesia’s most important cities.
Armand Vervaeck, host of this blog,  has climbed Merapi volcano a couple of years ago and witnessed the crater rumble from first hand. A truly fascinating volcano.

 

We encourage reading the full article by clicking on this link.

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