2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi The last Updated


2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi

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This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

The 2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi began in late October 2010 when Mount Merapi in Central JavaIndonesia began an increasingly violent series of eruptions that continued into November. Seismic activity around the volcano increased from mid-September onwards, culminating in repeated outbursts lava and ashes. Largeeruption columns formed, causing numerous pyroclastic flows down the heavily populated slopes of the volcano. Merapi’s eruption was said by authorities to be the largest since the 1870s.

Over 100,000 people were evacuated from the affected area. However, many remained behind or returned to their homes before the eruption had finished. Over a hundred people were killed during the eruption, many as a result of pyroclastic flows. The eruption also caused major disruption to aviation across Java, due to the ash plumes.[2][3]

Volcanic eruptions

Recent background

The thermal signature of hot ash and rock and a glowing lava dome on Mount Merapi.

In late October 2010 the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Geological Agency (CVGHM), (Pusat Vulkanologi & Mitigasi Bencana Geologi, Badan Geologi-PVMBG), reported that a pattern of increasing seismicity from Merapi had begun to emerge in early September. Observers at Babadan 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) west and Kaliurang8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the mountain reported hearing an avalanche on 12 September 2010. On 13 September 2010 white plumes were observed rising 800 metres (2,600 ft) above the crater. Lava dome inflation, detected since March, increased from background levels of 0.1 millimetres (0.0039 in) to 0.3 millimetres (0.012 in) per day to a rate of 11 millimetres (0.43 in) per day on 16 September. On 19 September 2010 earthquakes continued to be numerous, and the next day CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 2 (on a scale of 1–4).[4] Lava from Mount Merapi began flowing down the Gendol River on 23–24 October signalling the likelihood of an imminent eruption.[5]

On 25 October 2010 the Indonesian government raised the alert for Mount Merapi to its highest level (4) and warned villagers in threatened areas to move to safer ground. People living within a 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) zone were told to evacuate. The evacuation orders affected at least 19,000 people however the number that complied at the time remained unclear to authorities.[6] Officials said about 500 volcanic earthquakes had been recorded on the mountain over the weekend of 23–24 October, and that the magma had risen to about a 1 kilometre (3,300 ft) below the surface due to the seismic activity[7]

Chronology of eruptive events

Monday, 25 October

Fears for missing children in Indonesia volcano ...

Merapi erupted three times on Monday afternoon spewing lava down its southern and south-eastern slopes. Three major eruptions were recorded at 14:04, 14:24 and 15:15 local time.[8] On this day, 222 volcanic seismic events and 454 avalanche seismic events were recorded by Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation monitoring staff at Merapi.[9]

Tuesday, 26 October

The eruptions on Tuesday started at 17:02. By 18:54 pyroclastic activity had begun to subside following 12 eruption-associated events being recorded by CVGHM monitors. In the 24 hours of 26 October, 232 volcanic seismic events, 269 avalanche seismic events, 4 lava flow seismic events and 6 heat clouds were recorded. The eruptive events were classified as explosive eventswith volcanic bursts of ejected material, visible flame and pyroclastic hot air flows. A column of smoke rose from the top to a vertical distance of 1.5 kilometres (4,900 ft) from the summit of Mount Merapi.[9] The first fatalities occurred on this day.

Friday, 29 October

On Friday eruptive activity included lava ejection with hot ash clouds reported to be flowing 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) down the slopes of the mountain and lasting four to nine minutes. Ash falls reached as far as the Central Java town of Magelang. Scientists monitoring the volcano includingSurono, chief of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG), expressed optimism that the volcanic activity should decrease following the release of lava. Safari Dwiyono, a scientist monitoring Mt. Merapi for 15 years, said the volcanic activity appeared to be easing pressure behind a lava dome that had formed in the crater.[10][11] The International Red Cross reported that On 29 October, from 07:23 to 21:40, pyroclastic flow from Merapi struck Lamat River, Senowo River, and Krasak River.[12]

Saturday, 30 October

By early on the morning of Saturday 30 October the volcano was erupting again. Sri Sumarti, head of the Merapi section at the Volcano Investigation and Technology Development Institution (BPPTK), reported the eruptions were louder and stronger than those of 26 October. Ash from the eruptions on 30 October fell more than 30 kilometres (19 mi) away and now included ash falls upon the city ofYogyakarta. Soldiers and police posted nearest the volcano were seen fleeing along with hundreds of residents who quickly clogged roads with cars and motorcycles. Black soot fell across a vast area. The morning eruptions lasted for 22 minutes while heat clouds flowed into the Krasak and Boyong Rivers and rose 3.5 kilometres (11,000 ft) into the air, drifting westward toward Magelang. Yogyakarta’s Adisucipto Airport was closed temporarily between 05:00 to 07:00. Later that day, Subandrio, head of the BPPTK suggested there would be further eruptions as magma continued to push its way up into the volcano’s lava dome.[13][14] A pyroclastic river flowed from Merapi again on 30 October 2010 at 00:35. A pyroclastic flow headed toward Gendol River, Kuning River, Krasak River, and Boyong River. This was then followed by an explosion from Merapi resulting in a two kilometer vertical high fire ball rising from the top of the mountain . This eruption caused raining sand to fall on areas to a radius of up to 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the volcano.[15]Amongst activities from government and NGO’s the Indonesian Red Cross and Red Crescent (PMI) had by this time fielded up to 398 volunteers from branches in the provinces of Central Java, and Yogyakarta. These volunteers assisted in disseminating information to communities to warn of Merapi’s level IV volcanic activity. PMI also provided meals for 1,000 displaced people in the Dompol camp.[15]One of these PMI volunteers, Tutur Priyanto had died on the slopes on 26 October.[16]

Monday, 1 November

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation observation outposts at Mount Merapi began observing at 00:00 and concluded at 06:00 and reported no significant visible activity. Merapi spewed hot clouds in the afternoon. Sulfatara smoke was visible from several posts and avalanches were observed.[17] Mount Merapi erupted at 10:10 local time Monday morning spewing hot clouds and dark fog masses in easterly direction punctuated by loud explosions. Lt Col Soekoso Wahyudi, chief of the Boyolali district military command, was reported by Antara news as saying the explosions this time were louder than those of Sunday evening 31 October. The hot clouds descended on part of the mountain slopes and moved in easterly direction. Local military and police commands deployed personnel on roads in areas around the mountain to regulate traffic which had become clogged by vehicles and people rushing to leave the danger zones. Reports from Klaten, Sleman and Boyolali districts suggested the volcanic explosions were so loud they caused panic and a rush to seek refuge.[18] Merapi’s heat and hot ash clouds continued to erupt throughout the day.[19] A thick eruptive ash cloud was reported to rise 1.5 kilometres (4,900 ft)into the air.[20] The Darwin VAAC reported that a possible eruption on 1 November produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l., according to ground-based reports, analyses of satellite imagery, and web camera views.[21] The WHO reported that Mount Merapi spewed out hot clouds of gas and ash again on Monday morning, 1 November 2010 at around 10:05 local time. Clouds of hot ash and gas billowed up to 1.5 kilometers into the atmosphere, before cascading back down up to 4 kilometers around the slopes of Merapi. An uninterrupted stream of smoke clouds were sent into the air for 40 minutes, heading southward toward a nearby river in Sleman regency, and took with it an estimated 2 million cubic meters of rock and earth from the peak. From the previous eruption, Crisis Center MOH reported 42 people died, 103 people have been admitted to several health facilities with respiratory difficulties and burn injuries. reported the number of displaced persons numbered up to 70,143. Health problems amongst the evacuees included acute respiratory infection, eye Irritation, cephalgia, and hypertension. Land transportation beyond the 10 km restricted area was not disrupted. Air transportation was affected for flights from and to Yogyakarta and Solo.[22]

Tuesday, 2 November

On 2 November several airlines including GarudaAirAsia and Silkair with international flights to both Yogyakarta and Solo were either suspended or re-routed due to the eruptive activity.[23] CVGHM reported 26 pyroclastic flows on 2 November.[24]

Wednesday, 3 November

View of Merapi from Borobudur in nearby Magelang (2006).

On 3 November heat clouds travelled up to 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away from the eruption, forcing the government to evacuate people from within the refugee camps set up earlier to accommodate those already dislocated by the volcano. A mid-day report from CVGHM on 3 November stated that 38 pyroclastic flows occurred during the first 12 hours of the day. An observer from the Kaliurang post saw 19 of those 38 flows travel 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south. Plumes from the pyroclastic flows rose 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi), although dense fog made visual observations difficult. Ashfall was noted in some nearby areas.[24]

Eruptions in the afternoon followed a morning eruption that sent hot gas clouds down the volcano’s slopes. The volcano spewed clouds of ash and gas 5 kilometres (16,000 ft) into the sky for more than an hour. Wednesday’s eruptions were reported to be the largest since the eruptions commenced.[25] Surono announced that he was moving the shelters to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) away from the summit. Speaking on Indonesia’s Metro TV network he said, “this is the first time that the eruption has continued for more than an hour, so I decided to move the shelters to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) away from the summit”. The shelters had previously been set up 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away. Surono added that the energy from the eruption on 3 November was three times greater than that of the first eruption in the previous week.[26] Bambang Ervan, a spokesman from the Transportation Ministry, said an official warning had been issued to all airlines to “use alternative routes for safety reasons due to the volcanic ash.”[23]

Thursday, 4 November

Heavy rain during the night of 3–4 November triggered lahars with mixtures of water and rock debris cascading down the Kuning, Gendol, Woro, Boyong, Krasak and Opak rivers on the slopes of the volcano. A bridge was destroyed and riverbanks damaged. The eruption at 05:55 was reported as being five times stronger that the initial eruption on 26 October 2010. On 4 November Merapi had been erupting for 24 hours without stopping. Heat clouds of 600 to 800 degrees Celsius spread as far as 11.5 kilometres (7.1 mi) from the crater reaching toward the edge of the then 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) exclusion zone, and lava flowed into the mountain’s rivers. Herry Bakti Gumay, Director General of air transportation, stated on 4 November that the warning released to all airlines operating flights into Yogyakarta would not withdraw it until conditions returned to normal.[27]

Friday, 5 November

Merapi erupted strongly early Friday morning. Volcanic ash fell at Cangkringan district and its surroundings 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the crater. Due to continuous large eruptions, the government extended the safety zone to a radius of 20 kilometres (12 mi) and Yogyakarta’s airport was closed again for 3 hours in the morning.[28][29] Volcanologists reported the eruptions on Friday 5 November to be the biggest since the 1870s and officials announced by loudspeaker that the mountain’s danger zone had been expanded to 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the crater.[30] Bronggang, a village 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the crater saw it’s streets blanketed by ash up to 30 centimetres (12 in) deep. By this point, more than 100,000 people had been evacuated and the scientists monitoring the events were withdrawn from their posts to a safer distance.[30] The Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) issued an ongoing code red Aviation Volcanic Ash Advisory and reported MTSAT-2 satellite image-derived information indicating a volcanic ash plume to (55,000 feet (17,000 m)) FL550, extending 190 nautical miles (352 kilometres (219 mi)) to the west and southwest of the mountain.[31]

Saturday, 6 November

Due to the eruptions and ash falls in the surrounding area of Central Java, the price of many vegetables, such as potatoes and water spinach had begun to increase. Schools were reported closed up to 120 kilometres (75 mi) west of Yogyakarta.[32] The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation observation outposts reported high intensity ash falls on the slopes of Mt Merapi. At 23:51 a flash of smoke, hot air winds and flames as high as 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) occurred to the west, north and to the east.[33]

Sunday, 7 November

At 03:02 hot ash clouds flowed in the direction of the Gendol and Woro rivers. Volcanic earthquake and hot ash cloud events were reported to have increased from the previous day.[34]

Casualties

INDONESIA-VOLCANO/

On 26 October at least 18 people, including a 2-month old baby, were found dead due to burns and respiratory failure caused by hot ashes from the eruption.[35] Thousands were evacuated within a radius of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) around the slopes of the volcano.[36]

By Wednesday 27 October the death toll had risen to at least 25. The death toll included an elder, Mbah Maridjan (grandfather Marijan), known as the volcano’s spiritual gatekeeper, who was found dead at his home approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the peak. The Yogyakarta Palace subsequently confirmed his death.[6][37] The 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) exclusion zone remained in place at the volcano with evacuation and ongoing search and rescue activities continuing at the site in an attempt to locate further victims of the previous day’s eruptions.[38]

Later reports revised the toll upward to 30 persons recorded at Yogyakarta’s Dr. Sardjito Hospital with 17 hospitalized, mostly with burns, respiratory problems and other injuries. Earlier on 27 October two of the 28 bodies at the hospital had been identified. Yuniawan Nugroho, an editor with the vivanews.com news portal, was reported to have been killed while conducting reportage on the night of Tuesday 26 October, the other was later identified as Indonesian Tutur Priyanto, a 36 year man working for the Red Cross as a volunteer on the mountain. Tutur Priyanto had been retrieving and escorting residents from the slopes of the mountain. After making many trips he returned for a further ascent at 15:00 to assist others to come off the mountain and died during one of the subsequent eruptive events.[16][39][40] As of 1 November 2010, the death toll from Mount Merapi’s blasts had climbed to 38.

By 5 November at 15:00 the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency was reporting 122 deaths attributable to the Merapi eruptions, primarily from the area of residents from Sleman Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta with an additional 151 injured people admitted to four Yogyakarta hospitals.[3]

Soldiers joined rescue operations in Bronggang, 15 kilometers from the crater to assist in recovering bodies from the village. At least 78 bodies were removed from homes and streets blanketed by ash up to 30 centimetres (12 in) deep. They had been killed when hot ash clouds from the crater had travelled down the mountain in pyroclastic flows at speeds of up to 100 km per hour and engulfed their village.[30] Many of those killed on 5 November were children from Argomulyo village, 18 kilometers from the crater, according to emergency response officials and witnesses.[41]

Lava dome deformation

During the last week of October 2010 deformation measurements were performed by Electric Distance Measurement (EDM), utilising reflectors mounted around the summit of Mount Merapi. The measurement results indicated a rapidly increasing rate of growth of the lava dome in the build up to the eruptive events of 25–26 October 2010.

At the end of September 2010, the peak inflation rate of the lava dome at Mount Merapi was measured by EDM at an average growth rate of 6 millimetres (0.24 in). The subsequent rate of inflation up until October 21, 2010 reached 105 millimetres (4.1 in) per day. The inflation rate then increased very sharply, reaching 420 millimetres (17 in) per day by 24 October 2010.[42] By the 25 October the average grow rate, measured from 6 EDM points over 24–25 October had risen to 500 millimetres (20 in) per day.[9]

The information gathered at the site indicated that the distension of the mountain’s slopes was much more rapid this during the current event than that observed during the 2006 event.

On 26 October the head of the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Surono, repeated his earlier statements that the greatest concern was the pressure building behind a massive lava dome that has formed near the tip of the crater. “The energy is building up. … We hope it will release slowly,” he said. “Otherwise we’re looking at a potentially huge eruption, bigger than anything we’ve seen in years”.[43] Surono also said that 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 and speculated that Merapi may erupt explosively, as it did in 1930, and not just eject gas as in 2006 eruptions.[5]

By 5 November, following a week of ongoing explosive eruptions experts monitoring Merapi were reported as being “baffled” as, despite earlier predictions that the eruptions following the initial blast in the prior week would ease pressure building up behind a magma dome, instead the eruptions intensified. An estimated 50 million cubic meters of volcanic material had been released by 5 November, “it was the biggest in at least a century,” said Gede Swantika, a state volcanologist, commenting on the eruptions of 5 November as plumes of smoke rose up more than 10,000 metres (33,000 ft).[30]

Air travel disruption

The eruptions and subsequent volcanic ash plumes caused extensive disruption to aviation movements across central and western Java in early November. Some flights to and from BandungJakarta and Solo were effected and many international and domestic airlines suspended operations to and from those cities. Yogyakarta’s Adisucipto International Airport was closed on many occasions in early November due to limited visibility and ash falls upon the runway, taxiway and terminal aprons. Adisucipto International Airport is the third busiest airport on the island of Java and lies approximately 13.5 NM (25 kilometres (16 mi)) to the south of Merapi. An Airbus A300-300 flight operated for Garuda Airlines as a Haji pilgrimage from Solo‘s Adisumarmo International Airport 19MN (35 km) east of Merapi and travelling to Batam on route to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) was reported to have suffered from ash related engine damage on 28 October. It was however later reported to have suffered from blade tip rubbing and was not apparently damaged by volcanic ash ingestion.

On 3 November Garuda Indonesia diverted its embarkation point for Hajj pilgrims from Solo to Surabaya to keep flights from being delayed by volcanic ash from the erupting Mount Merapi.[44]

On 4 November Herry Bakti Gumay, Director General of air transportation, stated that the warning released to all airlines operating flights into Yogyakarta would not withdraw warning until conditions returned to normal.[45] Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi, speaking in Jakarta, said he had instructed airlines to direct all flights crossing Java to the north or south to avoid Merapi. “We have already prepared alternative routes for all flights,” he said. “It may cost more and use up more fuel, but safety comes first.” [46]

On 5 November at 05:27 (UTC) the Australian government Bureau of Meteorology (VAAC) issued an ongoing code red Aviation Volcanic Ash Advisory and reported satellite image (MTSAT-2) derived information indicating a volcanic ash plume to FL550 OBS extending 190 nautical miles to the west and southwest of the mountain.[47]

On 6 November at 11:07(UTC) the Australian government Bureau of Meteorology (VAAC) issued an ongoing code red Aviation Volcanic Ash Advisory and reported satellite image (MTSAT-2) derived information indicating a volcanic ash plume to FL550 OBS extending 190 nautical miles (352 kilometres (219 mi)) to the west of the mountain. [48] At Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport (CGK) airlines cancelled 36 flights on 6 November over concerns about volcanic ash.

By 7 November the Aviation Volcanic Ash Advisory issued from Darwin Australia reported the volcanic ash plume “to FL250 OBS extending 100 nautical miles to the west”.[49] Fights to cities close to Merapi including Yogyakarta, Solo and Bandung were affected by concerns of ash in the air around the mountain and of that blowing from the mountains ash plume toward the west and south west of Merapi. The closure of smaller airports near the volcano delayed the arrival of burn cream and ventilators for those whose skin and lungs have been damaged by the ash, heat and volcanic gases. The VAAC code red status was issued again for that day describing an ash plume extending westward to 120 NM (222 kilometres (138 mi)), the last observations being made at 08:30 (UTC) 14:30 local time at Yogyakarta.[50]

At Jakarta‘s Soekarno-Hatta Airport (CGK) airlines canceled 50 flights on Sunday, 7 November in addition to 36 flights cancelled on 6 November over concerns about volcanic ash. Many international airlines halted flights to the capital however some carriers resumed some flights on Sunday 7 November. Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport normally handles around 900 flights per day.
On 7 November a spokesman for Soekarno-Hatta Airport, confirmed that the capital’s airport remained fully open. Flag-carrier Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air still operated international flights out of Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport. Garuda Indonesia spokesman Pujobroto told news portal kompas.com, “There has been no notice to airman so far from the aviation authorities which says the airport is affected by the volcanic ash. Therefore Garuda continues its activities.”
On 7 November domestic flights to and from Yogyakarta were cancelled by Garuda Indonesia: 15 flights (8 departure / 7 arrival), Lion Air: 4 flights (3 departure / 1 arrival), Batavia Air: 2 flights (1 departure / 1 arrival). AirAsia (Malaysia) had previously suspended flights into Yogyakarta and Solo and Silkair (Singapore) had suspended their operations into Solo. Airport operations at Yogyakarta’s Adisucipto airport had already been closed or suspended on many occasions due to concerns from ash fall and limited visibility.[51][52] Garuda and Sriwijaya Air canceled all flights to Yogyakarta until 9 November due to the ash plume. Pujobroto, vice president of corporate communications, Garuda Indonesia announced that with flight conditions between Yogyakarta and Solo also still uncertain, flights from Yogyakarta will not be diverted to Solo and reiterated that there had not been any official declaration that Soekarno Hatta airport had been affected by Merapi’s volcanic ashes and nor was it closed down. “Garuda will still continue its services for domestic and international flights to and from Soekarno Hatta airport.”[53]

Effect on Borobudur

File:Borobudur Stupa Merapi.jpg

Borobudur, the 8th century Buddhist temple and one of world’s largest Buddhist monument, was heavily affected the eruption in early November 2010. Volcanic ashes from the Mount Merapi volcano covering the temple complex ,which is roughly 30km to the west of Merapi and killing nearby vegetation. Layer of ashes as thick as 2 cm fall on the temple statues, with expert fearing acidic ashes might damage the historic site. The temple complex is closed for at least a week for the cleaning of ashes. [54] [55]

Mount Merapi spews volcanic material as seen ...

Mount Merapi spews volcanic material as seen from Wukirsari, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

Indonesian soldiers cut down a dying tree covered ...

Indonesian soldiers cut down a dying tree covered with volcanic ash from Mount Merapi eruption in Muntilan, , Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

(AP Photo/Trisnadi)

Flights resume to Indonesia after volcano chaos

Mount Merapi spews ash to the sky on November 8, 2010. International flights to Indonesia’s capital Jakarta returned to normal on Monday, officials said, a day ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama, after volcanic ash caused a weekend of travel chaos

Merapis touch

Merapi’s touch : An elderly Indonesian villager carries a television set as he salvages belongings as Mount Merapi volcano continues spewing clouds.

Members of a rescue team walk among debris in ...

Members of a rescue team walk among debris in Glagaharjo village, which has been hit by Mount Merapi eruptions, to search for more victims, in the Sleman district of Indonesia’s central Java province November 8, 2010. Mount Merapi, on the outskirts of Yogyakarta, began spewing lava, superheated gas and deadly clouds of ash two week ago and has so far killed over 130 people and forced the evacuation of nearly 300,000.« Read less

REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas (INDONESIA – Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

Molten lava flows from the crater of Mount Merapi captured in this long exposure photograph taken from Klaten district in Central Java province late on November 2, 2010. (SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Mount Merapi spews lava and smoke as it erupted again on Wednesday as seen from Sidorejo village in Klaten on November 3, 2010. (REUTERS/Beawiharta) #

Volcano travel chaos as ash grounds Indonesia ...

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi spews massive hot clouds of volcanic ash and rocks as seen from Sleman district in central Java on November 6. International… Read more »

(AFP/SONNY TUMBELAKA)

The bodies of dozens killed by Indonesia's most ...

The bodies of dozens killed by Indonesia’s most volatile volcano — some too charred to ever be identified — have been placed into a mass grave, as people terrified that another eruption was coming fled the city at the foot of Mount Merapi.Relatives weep during a mass burial for the victims of the eruption of Mount Merapi, in Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010.

Volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi ...

Volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi covers a village in Muntilan, Central Java, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. Indonesia’s most volatile volcano sparked transportation chaos Sunday, with several international airlines canceling flights to the capital and neighboring Malaysia airlifting out hundreds of its citizens.

Indonesian soldiers search for victims of the ...

Indonesian soldiers search for victims of the eruption of Mount Merapi in Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 8, 2010.

(AP Photo)

A villager carry grass for his livestock as Mount ...

A villager carry grass for his livestock as Mount Merapi is seen spewing volcaninc material in Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 8, 2010.

(AP Photo/Trisnadi)

A search and rescue team looks for victims at ...

A search and rescue team looks for victims at Wukirsari village in Sleman district in the Indonesian Central Java province November 7, 2010.

Volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi ...

Volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi covers statues at an art workshop in Muntilan, Central Java, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010.

Residents clean up their houses from volcanic ...

Residents clean up their houses from volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi in Muntilan, Central Java, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010.

(AP Photo/Trisnadi)

A house kitchen is covered by ash in Cangkringan ...

A house kitchen is covered by ash in Cangkringan village off the Indonesia’s Central Java province, November 6, 2010. Mount Merapi volcano erupted

Villagers ride on their motorcycle as Mount Merapi ...

Villagers ride on their motorcycle as Mount Merapi spewing volcanic materials in the background in Srumbung, Central Java, Indonesia, Indonesia, Saturday.

Rescuers recover the remains of a victim of the ...

Rescuers recover the remains of a victim of the eruption of Mount Merapi in Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010.

(AP Photo/Trisnadi)

Fears for missing children in Indonesia volcano ...

An Indonesian soldier carries a victim of the Mount Merapi eruption at Ngepringan village in Sleman, central Java on November 9, 2010. The toll from aseries of eruptions of Mount Merapi over the past two weeks rose to 151 as bodies were pulled from the sludge that incinerated villages.

Rescuers search for victims of the eruption of ...

A farmer walks on his corn field covered in volcanic ...

A farmer walks on his corn field covered in volcanic ash from Mount Merapi eruption in Muntilan, Central Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

Motorists ride on a road covered with volcanic ...

Motorists ride on a road covered with volcanic ash as Mount Merapi spews volcanic material in the background in Wukirsari, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

(AP Photo)

Mount Merapi spews volcanic material as seen ...

Mount Merapi spews volcanic material as seen from Wukirsari, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

(AP Photo)

Mount Merapi spews volcanic material as a statue ...

Mount Merapi spews volcanic material as a statue is silhouetted in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010.

(AP Photo)

Houses are in flames as volunteers rescue burned victims of an eruption of Mount Merapi in Argomulyo village early on November 5, 2010. (SUSANTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Survivor Sri Sucirathaasri, 18, stands beside her injured sister Prisca in a hospital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Nov. 5, 2010. The hospital at the foot of Indonesia’s most volatile volcano is struggling to cope with victims brought in after the mountain’s most powerful eruption in a century. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim) #

Dead trees and mud clog a river as clouds of hot ash spew from the erupting Mount Merapi in Sleman, central Java, on November 6, 2010. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi covers a village in Muntilan, Central Java, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Trisnadi) #
Villagers escorted by police carry a suspected looter caught in an abandoned village in Sleman located in Mount Merapi’s danger zone on November 1, 2010. (ARYA BIMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
Indonesian soldiers of Special Force of Kopassus evacuate an elderly woman who refuses to leave her home during an evacuation after a new violent explosion in Umbulharjo, Sleman on October 30, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #
Refugees look out from inside a tent during rain at a temporary evacuation center set up as a result of the repeated eruptions of Mount Merapi, in Keputran village, Klaten, Central Java on November 4, 2010. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #
Lava and ash spews from the top of Mount Merapi, viewed from Klaten district in Central Java province before dawn on November 6, 2010. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images) #
Search and rescue team members from Yogyakarta carry a victim of Merapi volcano’s eruption at the village of Ngancar in Sleman on November 8, 2010. (CLARA PRIMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
A view from a domestic flight from Denpasar to Yogyakarta that was subsequently diverted to Surabaya airport shows a plume of gas and ash billowing some 10 km (six mi) high from Mount Merapi, during an eruption on November 4, 2010. (CLARA PRIMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
A girl weeps at a temporary shelter for those who are affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Bawukan, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/AK Hendratmo) #
Refugees rummage through second-hand clothes that were distributed at a refugee camp in Yogyakarta, Central Java November 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas) #
A woman prays in a temporary shelter at Maguwoharjo Stadium in Yogyakarta, November 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Beawiharta) #
Residents leave a danger zone as Merapi volcano releases ash clouds above Balerante village, Klaten on November 1, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)#
Villagers flee their homes following another eruption Mount Merapi in Klaten ,Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim) #
An Indonesian veterinarian tends to a cow injured after Mouth Merapi’s eruption in the village of Umbulharjo, in Sleman, central Java, on October 29, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #
Rescuers remove the charred remain of the body of a victim of Mount Merapi eruption in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Trisnadi) #
Villagers gather at the grave of the victims of Mount Merapi eruption for a mass burial at Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim) #
Dead trees and ash cover a damaged house with the erupting Mount Merapi in the background in Sleman, Yogyakarta province, central Java, on November 6, 2010. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images) #
Lightning strikes as Mount Merapi erupts, as seen from Ketep village in Magelang, Indonesia’s Central Java province November 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Beawiharta) #
Volunteers rescue burned victims of Mount Merapi eruption in Argomulyo village, devastated by deadly hot clouds of volcanic ash early on November 5, 2010. (SUSANTO/AFP/Getty Images) #
Mount Merapi volcano spews smoke as seen from Deles village in Klaten, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, November 1, 2010. (REUTERS/Dwi Oblo) #
A farmer stands in a rice field as volcanic material from Mount Merapi erupts, in Klaten, Central Java on November 4, 2010 near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Over 70,000 people have now been evacuated with the danger zone being extended to over 15km as the volcano continues to spew ash and volcanic material. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
International reaction

The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday 28 October that his government was not accepting foreign aid and an assessment of needs was still being made.[56]

  • The Australian government made announcements In Jakarta pledging almost $1 million in aid. Paul Robilliard, charge d’affairesat the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, said his government was also prepared to offer more support if needed, the money being intended primarily for the relief effort in the Mentawai Islands. Parts of the Australian funding is to be in the form of donations toNahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s biggest Islamic organizations, as well as the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI). All three organizations are involved in relief efforts in the Mentawai Islands and around Merapi.[57][57][58][59] On 2 November the Australian government announced additional funding of $1.1 million assistance. This was to include support for health and psycho-social programs for affected communities as well as longer term emergency preparedness activities and assistance to the Indonesian community organisations Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama to help local communities recover following the eruption and the Indonesian Red Cross for humanitarian assistance in the Mentawai Islands and the Mount Merapi area. An AusAID officer was posted to work with local assessment teams near Mount Merapi. The additional aid was for humanitarian assistance in both the Mentawai Islands and the Mount Merapi area and the Australian government stated it stood ready to assist further if Indonesia required more support. In response. The Government of Indonesia accepted the offer from the Australian Government.[60]
  • Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon released a statement saying, “Canada’s condolences to the people of Indonesia following the recent natural disasters that have struck the country. “Canada is deeply concerned for the people of Indonesia, as they deal with the impacts of the recent tsunami and volcanic eruption,” said Minister Cannon. “On behalf of all Canadians, I offer our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those killed, and wish a quick recovery to the injured. Canada stands ready to provide support to the people of Indonesia if requested. We have received no reports to date of Canadian deaths or injuries due to these disasters. Canadian officials in Ottawa and at the Canadian Embassy in Jakarta continue to monitor the impact of the disasters and remain in close contact with Indonesian authorities. We invite Canadian citizens in the affected area, even if they have not been affected by these events, to call home and reassure their loved ones.”[61]
  • On Friday 29 October 2010 the European Commission announced that it was offering 1.5 million euros to help the victims of the Mount Merapi volcano and the tsunami that struck the remote Mentawai islands off the coast of Indonesian Sumatra on Monday 25 October 2010. The funds were to be provided to assist the 65,000 people in Mentawai and at least 22,000 people in Yogyakarta in Central Java. “Humanitarian partners will use these funds to provide water and sanitation to victims; access to primary health care and disease control; food and nonfood items; emergency telecommunications, emergency shelter; psychological support; logistics and will mainstream disaster preparedness” according to a European Commission announcement.[57][62]
  • Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Minister for Foreign Affairs Seiji Maehara sent messages to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa expressing their condolences and sympathy.[63][64]
  • Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani both sent messages to the President of Indonesia expressing their condolences and sympathy.[65]
  • Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, who was in Hanoi, Vietnam to attend the 17th ASEAN Summit, has directed his department to get ready to provide Indonesia with assistance. The Philippines Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement that “The (Philippines) Embassy …stands ready to provide assistance, if needed,” adding all Filipinos in Indonesia are safe.[66]
  • Portuguese President Cavaco Silva sent his Indonesian counterpart a letter of condolences. He expressed his and Portugal’s support for the country in such troubling times.
  • United States The US ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel announced his governments desire to grant US$2 million toward the humanitarian relief efforts in Indonesia. President Barack Obama said in a statement: “Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life, injuries, and damage that have occurred as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami in West Sumatra. At the same time, I am heartened and encouraged by the remarkable resiliency of the Indonesian people and the commitment of their Government to rapidly assist the victims. As a friend of Indonesia, the United States stands ready to help in any way. Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with the Indonesian people and all those affected by this tragedy.”[57][67]



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