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 in the past 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 on Monday. 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.
Sapto said that as of Monday, local authorities had not issued any information to the public regarding the volcano. 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 that the mountain erupted after dusk on Saturday, 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.