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, Indonesian website - Click on the picture to go to the website


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.

Colombia : Red alert for possible eruption of Galeras Volcano

Volcán Galeras - Pasto - Colombia

Image via Wikipedia

The Colombian authorities have declared the maximum alert for Galeras volcano and forced 8000 people living in and around 7 villages nearby the volcano to abandon their houses and to evacuate  for safer grounds.

The Galeras volcano has a history of short but violent eruptions.

The ‘Red Alert’ has been called after a singificant event took place at 4 AM Columbian time on August 25, 2010.

Galeras (Urcunina among the 16th-century indigenous people) is an Andean stratovolcano in the Colombian department of Nariño, near the departmental capital Pasto.
Its summit rises 4,276 metres (14,029 ft) above sea level.

The South American volcanoes are products of the tectonic interaction in between the Nazca and Cocos plates and the South American plate (subduction) .

Google satellite map (poor quality !) of the volcano and nearby city of  Pasto.

Recent eruption history

A 1993 eruption killed nine people, including six scientists who had descended into the volcano’s crater to sample gases. It is currently the most active volcano in Colombia.

More than 100 minor tremors were felt during a major eruption in April 2002, although no damage or injury was reported.

An eruption in November 2005 forced an evacuation of the dangerous area surrounding the volcano, and about 9,400 people from nearby villages (most of them farmers) were ordered to leave. The city of Pasto, about 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) from the volcano, was blanketed by a layer of ash after the volcanic explosion, forcing the residents to don goggles and face masks.

Numerous minor tremors and ash emissions since March 2006 culminated on 12 July 2006 in three explosive eruptions, producing an ash and gas column reaching an altitude of 8 kilometres (5.0 mi).
Rock falls and pyroclastic flows were reported from towns as distant as Consacá, 11.4 kilometres (7.1 mi) west of the main crater.

On January 17, 2008, the volcano erupted around 20:06 (local) (01:06 UTC). There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious property damage. Later the experts confirmed partial damage in the national and local TV towers.

on February 14, 2009, the volcano erupted around 19:10 (local) (00:10 UTC).  Some 8,000 residents were evacuated, and there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious property damage. As in 2005, the city of Pasto was blanketed by a layer of ash after the volcanic explosion (due to the direction of the wind). The local authorities ordered two water treatment plants near Galeras to shut down.

On March 13, 2009, Galeras erupted twice at around 15:55 and 17:00 (local time). Ash fell on Pasto and some other towns near the volcano, where an evacuation was ordered but reportedly ignored. No injuries or damage were reported.

The volcano erupted on January 3, 2010, forcing the evacuation of 8,000 people. This is the 10th such eruption of the volcano in the past year, and the first of 2010. Colombian authorities also stated that it could remain volatile in the weeks to come.

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