Mount Merapi Status Remains Alert: Energy Minister
The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) of the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister has declared that Mount Merapi in Special Region of Yogyakarta is still safe.
However, residents living around Mount Merapi are advised not to approach to volcano within a radius of 3 kilometers from the crater since the mountains status stays on alert (level II), in which a streak of the phreatic eruption is still occurring.
Safe radius of Mount Merapi is 3 kilometer from the crater. The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on behalf of the Government will not extend the safe radius as long as lava drop is still within the safe radius of 3 kilometers, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan said when observing Merapi lava drop in Cangkringan, Sleman, on Friday (19/1).
Jonan also urged the public to remain calm and always follow the direction given by the local government. The Minister added that activities of Mount Merapi are intensively monitored and each progress will be reported to related institutions.
We urge the public to remain calm and always follow the direction from the local government and our inputs. The PVMBG will always monitor and evaluate Mount Merapi activity. The public and tourists are still safe to do activities outside the 3 km exclusion zone. The Government has not yet to raise the status of Mount Merapi which is currently at level II (alert), Jonan added.
In the meantime, Head of the PVMBG Kasbani asserted that as a mitigation effort, the PVMBG closely monitors activities of Mount Merapi and improves coordination with related institutions. The activity of Mount Merapi is relatively low. A series of eruptions at Mount Merapi has occurred for six months already. The eruption is categorized as effusive eruption which produces 2,500 to 3,000 cubic meters of lava per day. The growth is very slow, Kasbani added. He also said that lava has not filled up the Merapi lava dome and lava drop is still within the safe radius.
Since there are many volcanic materials at the tip of the volcano, there is a potential for lava floods. Therefore, people living around the valleys that are located in the upstream part on Mount Merapi, especially on the Gendol River, should be cautious, Kasbani said.
In addition to intensive monitoring on Mount Merapi, he also affirmed that all monitoring devices for Mount Merapi activities are operating properly. (Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry PR Division/ES)
Translated by : Rany Anjany Subachrum
Edited by : M. Ersan Pamungkas