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This article is about Mount Merapi in Central Java. For Mount Merapi in West Sumatra, see Mount Marapi.
Merapi, July 2005
|Elevation||2,968 m (9,738 ft) |
|Translation||Mountain of Fire (Indonesian)|
|Location||Border of Central Java /Yogyakarta (Indonesia)|
|Age of rock||400,000 years|
|Last eruption||26 October 2010|
The name Merapi could loosely translated as ‘Mountain of Fire’ from the Javanesecombined words; Meru means “mountain” and api means “fire”. Although smoke can be seen emerging from the mountain top at least 300 days a year, several eruptions have caused fatalities. Hot gas from a large explosion killed 64 people on November 22 in 1994, mostly in the town of Muntilan, west of the volcano. Another large eruption occurred in 2006, shortly before the Yogyakarta earthquake. In light of the hazards that Merapi poses to populated areas, it has been designated as one of theDecade Volcanoes.Mount Merapi, Gunung Merapi (literally Mountain of Fire in Indonesian/Javanese), is a conical volcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. It is very close to the city of Yogyakarta, and thousands of people live on the flanks of the volcano, with villages as high as 1700 m above sea level.
On 25 October 2010 the Indonesian government raised the alert for Mount Merapi to its highest level and warned villagers in threatened areas to move to safer ground. People living within a 10km (6 mile) zone were told to evacuate. 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 kilometre below the surface due to the seismic activity. On the afternoon of 25 October 2010 Mount Merapi erupted lava from its southern and southeastern slopes.
Merapi before 2007 eruption.
Merapi is the youngest in a group of volcanoes in southern Java. It is situated at a subductionzone, where the Indo-Australian Plate is sliding beneath the Eurasian Plate. It is one of at least 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire – a section of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and South East Asia. Stratigraphic analysis reveals that eruptions in the Merapi area began about 400,000 years ago, and from then until about 10,073 years ago, eruptions were typically effusive, and the outflowing lava emitted wasbasaltic. Since then, eruptions have become more explosive, with viscous andesitic lavas often generating lava domes. Dome collapse has often generated pyroclastic flows, and larger explosions, which have resulted in eruption columns, have also generated pyroclastic flows through column collapse.
Merapi in 1930
There has been no late eruption. Typically, small eruptions occur every two to three years, and larger ones every 10–15 years or so. Notable eruptions, often causing many deaths, have occurred in 1006, 1786, 1822, 1872, and 1930—when thirteen villages were destroyed and 1400 people killed by pyroclastic flows.
A very large eruption in 1006 is claimed to have covered all of central Java with ash. The volcanic devastation is claimed to have led to the collapse of the Hindu Kingdom of Mataram, however there is insufficient evidence from that era for this to be substantiated.
Pyroclastic flows (2006)
In April 2006, increased seismicity at more regular intervals and a detected bulge in the volcano’s cone indicated that fresh eruptions were imminent. Authorities put the volcano’s neighboring villages on high alert and local residents prepared for a likely evacuation. On April 19 smoke from the crater reached a height of 400 meters, compared to 75 metres the previous day. On April 23, after nine surface tremors and some 156 multifaced quakes signalled movements of magma, some 600 elderly and infant residents of the slopes were evacuated.
By early May, active lava flows had begun. On May 11, with lava flow beginning to be constant, some 17,000 people were ordered to be evacuated from the area and on May 13, Indonesian authorities raised the alert status to the highest level, ordering the immediate evacuation of all residents on the mountain. Many villagers defied the dangers posed by the volcano and returned to their villages, fearing that their livestock and crops would be vulnerable to theft. Activity calmed by the middle of May.
On May 27, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck roughly 30 miles southwest of Merapi, killing at least 5,000 and leaving at least 200,000 people homeless in the Yogyakarta region, heightening fears that Merapi would “blow”. The quake did not appear to be a long-period oscillation, a seismic disturbance class that is increasingly associated with major volcanic eruptions. A further 11,000 villagers were evacuated on June 6 as lava and superheated clouds of gas poured repeatedly down its upper slopes towards Kaliadem, a location that was located southeast of Mt. Merapi. The pyroclastic flows are known locally as “wedhus gembel” (Javanese for “shaggy goat”). There were two fatalities as the result of the eruption.
|This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.|
Main article: 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi
In late October 2010 the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Geological Agency (CVGHM), (Indonesian language—Pusat Vulkanologi & Mitigasi Bencana Geologi, Badan Geologi), reported that a pattern of increasing seismicity from Merapi had begun to emerge in early September. Observers at Babadan 7km west and Kaliurang 8km south of the mountain reported hearing an avalanche on 12 September 2010. On 13 September 2010 white plumes were observed rising 800m above the crater. Lava dome inflation, detected since March, increased from background levels of 0.1 to 0.3mm per day to a rate of 11mm 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). 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 10km (6 mile) zone were told to evacuate. 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 kilometre below the surface due to the seismic activity.Merapi erupted three times on Monday afternoon 25 October 2010, spewing lava down its southern and southeastern slopes. Three major eruptions were recorded at 2:04PM, 2:24PM and 3:15PM. At least 18 people, including one 2-month old baby, were found dead on the first day, 26 October, from burns caused by hot ashes from the eruption, while thousands were evacuated within a radius of 6 miles (10km) around the slopes of the vulcano.
Merapi Volcano January 27, 2007.
Merapi next to Merbabu January 9, 2008
Mount Merapi is the site of a very active volcano monitoring program. Seismic monitoring began in 1924, with some of the volcano monitoring stations lasting until the present. The Babadan (north west location), Selo (in the saddle between Merbabu and Merapi), andPlawangan monitoring stations have been updated with equipment over the decades since establishment. During the 1950s and early 1960s some of the stations were starved of equipment and funds, but after the 1970s considerable improvement occurred with the supply of new equipment. Some of the pre-1930 observation posts were destroyed by the 1930 eruption, and newer posts were re-located. Similarly after the 1994 eruption, the Plawangan post and equipment were moved into Kaliurang as a response to the threat of danger to the Volcanological personnel at the higher point.
The eruption of 1930 was found to have been preceded by a large earthquake swarm. The network of 8 seismographs currently around the volcano allow volcanologists to accurately pinpoint the hypocentres of tremors and quakes.
A zone in which no quakes originate is found about 1.5 km below the summit, and is thought to be the location of the magma reservoir which feeds the eruptions.
Other measurements taken on the volcano include magnetic measurements and tilt measurements. Small changes in the local magnetic field have been found to coincide with eruptions, and tilt measurements reveal the inflation of the volcano caused when the magma chambers beneath it is filling up.
Lahars (a type of mudflow of pyroclastic material and water) are an important hazard on the mountain, and are caused by rain remobilizing pyroclastic flow deposits. Lahars can be detected seismically, as they cause a high-frequency seismic signal. Observations have found that about 50 mm of rain per hour is the threshold above which lahars are often generated.
Merapi continues to hold particular significance for the Javanese: it is one of four places where officials from the royal palaces of Yogyakartaand Solo make annual offerings to placate the ancient Javanese spirits. To keep the volcano quiet, the Javanese regularly bring offerings on the anniversary of the sultan of Yogyakarta‘s coronation. For Yogyakarta Sultanate, Merapi holds significant cosmological symbolism, because it is forming a sacred north-south axis line between Merapi peak and Southern Ocean (Indian Ocean). The sacred axis is signify by Merapi peak in the north, the Tugu monument near train station, the axis runs along Malioboro street to Northern Alun-alun (square) acrossKeraton Yogyakarta (sultan palace), Southern Alun-alun, all the way to Bantul and finally reach Southern Ocean.
ERUPTION , October 26th, 2010 time 05.02 pm
YOGYAKARTA, Nov 1 – Mt Merapi erupted again today spewing clouds of volcanic ash causing panic among vilagers in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces. Indonesian volcanologists said the eruption at 10.30am was not as strong as the one on October 26 that killed 38 people.
A woman wearing a rain coat, rides a bicycle on an ash-covered road after another eruption of Mount Merapi volcano, in the city of Yogyakarta October 30,…
Indonesian soldiers search for victims of Mount Merapi eruption in Kinahrejo village, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010.
Indonesian residents line the trench as soldiers walk among the coffins of victims of the Mount Merapi eruption during a mass funeral in Sidorejo, Sleman,…
A relative of a victim of the Mount Merapi eruption scatters flowers during a mass burial at Umbulhardjo village in Sleman, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta,…
A woman hugs her colleague’s grave marker during a mass burial for victims of the Mount Merapi eruption at Umbulhardjo village in Sleman, near the ancient…
Volunteers carry the bodies of those who died after Mount Merapi erupted, at Kinarrejo village in Sleman, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, October…
Volcanic ash covers the interior of a house at a village badly hit by pyroclastic flows from Mount Merapi eruption…
A motorist covers his face with his jacket as he rides on an ash-covered road in Klaten, Central Java October 27, 2010 after Mount Merapi volcano erupted…
A woman covers her baby as she runs from ash falling from an erupting volcano at Kaliurang village in Sleman, near Indonesia’s ancient city of Yogyakarta,…
Burnt trees and grass surround a building damaged by pyroclastic flows following Tuesday’s eruption of Mount Merapi in Kaliadem, Yogyakarta, Indonesia,…
Residents cover their nose from volcanic ash as they walk at a village that was hit by pyroclastic flows from Mount Merapi eruption in Kaligendol, Yogyakarta,…