Who cares about small protests when Mother Nature gets angry. The article below shows just how much volcanic activity occurs in Indonesia. But not to worry, there are no volcanoes near Batam.
Volcanic activity up in several locations
AS TWO volcanos in the eastern part of Indonesia continued to erupt on Monday, Mount Merapi in Central Java has been displaying increasing activity, with rumblings last week.
“In the evenings, there are rumblings that are accompanied by the ground shaking,” Sapto, from Samiran village in the district of Boyolali on the slope of Merapi, said. He said that the 2,968-meter volcano was also active during the day, as evidenced by the thick column of ash billowing out from its crater.
Subiso, head of Selo subdistrict in Boyolali, confirmed that no official advisories or warnings had been issued yet about the increased activity on Merapi. However, he said that the rumbling sounds from the volcano were almost routine in the area, and added that the situation there “is still safe.”
Ngatini, another resident said that the rumblings did not disturb local residents too much. “If an eruption is imminent, the rumbling will be heard continuously and there will be some ash rain,” she said.
Merapi last erupted in October 2010, spewing enormous amounts of ash. Pyroclastic flows, fast-moving currents of superheated gas and rock, killed more than 300 people along the heavily populated slopes and forced 350,000 to evacuate.
Meanwhile, with a small eruption still taking place on Mount Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, authorities there are maintaining the alert status for the volcano and have banned all human activities within a 2.5-kilometer radius of the crater.
Farid Sukendar, head of the Lokon volcano observation post, said the mountain erupted after dusk, spewing superheated volcanic material up to 600 meters and ash up to 1,500 meters into the atmosphere.
“This volcano is active and therefore we should remain vigilant because it could erupt any time,” he said.
Arnold Poli, secretary of the town of Tomohon, located at the base of the mountain, said that the authorities were continuously monitoring the volcano. He said that the series of eruptions had not affected the activities of the local population but added the authorities were calling on everyone to remain alert.
He also said that despite the volcanic activity, the government had yet to evacuate anyone
from the villages of Kinilow and Kakaskasen III, the two villages closest to the smoldering crater.
Mount Soputan, in North Sulawesi’s South Minahasa district, and Mount Karangetang in the Sitaro Islands district across from the northernmost tip of Sulawesi, remained on a government-ordered standby alert status, or just one rung below the most severe alert.
“There are now three volcanoes in North Sulawesi under the standby alert status,” said Hooke Makarawung, head of the North Sulawesi Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD). “People should remain vigilant.”
He said that about 110 people had been evacuated from the slopes of Karangetang and that the North Sulawesi administration had sent relief supplies to them.
Djauhari Kansil, the deputy governor of North Sulawesi, said that in the daytime, the people were allowed to return to their village to work their fields.
The volcanology office also announced that it had raised the alert level for Mount Gamalama, on Ternate Island in North Maluku province, to standby. The 1,715-meter Gamalama, a conical volcano that dominates Ternate Island, last erupted in December, destroying more than 100 houses and leaving farmers devastated after a thick layer of ash smothered fruit trees and crops. Four villagers were confirmed dead in that eruption.
Metro TV reported that the mountain spewed a white column of ash about 500 meters into the atmosphere. There was also some volcanic debris thrown up by the mountain but on a smaller scale.
It also said the local volcanology authorities had declared a 2.5-kilometer exclusion radius around the crater of the erupting volcano.
The smoke and volcanic debris thrown up by Gamalama reached about 1,000 meters into the atmosphere.
Anak Krakatau, in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, also showed some signs of activity earlier this month. The volcano is the remnant of Krakatau, the site of an earth-shattering eruption in 1883. – The Jakarta Globe