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

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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