Theindonesiatoday.com – The Centre of Vulcanology and Mitigation of Geology Disaster, a sub-department of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, on Friday announced that the status of eight volcanoes has been raised to level II or “caution level”, indicating increasing activity of these volcanoes.
The eight volcanoes are: (1) Mount Sinabung, in Karo, North Sumatera; (2) Mount Talang, Solok, West Sumatera; (3) Mount Anak Krakatau, Lampung (Child of Krakatau Volcano); (4) Mount Papandayan, Garut, West Java; (5) Mount Slamet, Tegal, Central Java; (6) Mount Dieng, Wonosobo, Central Java; (7) Mount Semeru, Lumajang, East Java; and Mount Bromo, Probolinggo, East Java, detik.com reported on Friday.
Level I is “Normal” status, means that there is no magma pressured from beneath the mount. Action recommended is routine observation, survey and study.
When a volcano status is raised to Level II status or “Caution”, there is increasing activity above normal level and that there has been seismic activity. Under this situation, actions need to be undertaken include public campaign over the impact on the society if the volcano erupts, checking the availability of public facilities and monitoring activity. Level II or alert status means there is an increasing activity such as anomalies that can be seen visually or crater inspection results, quakes, and other volcanic phenomena.
The third level or Level III is an “Alert” (yellow) status. Under this period, a volcano shows indications to erupt, seismic activity intensifies and that seismic data shows that seismic activity of the mount will continue to eruption level that could cause disaster. Actions need to be taken during this period is public campaign about areas that might be affected by the volcanic eruption. In addition, transportation facilities and emergency facilities have to be prepared. Coordination is now done on daily basis. The volcano now has to be fully monitored for 24 hours a day.
The fourth level or Level IV is a “”Danger” or “Red” status. During this period, the volcano shows indication that will soon erupt. The public is informed that the mount is in critical condition that would lead to disaster. Initial eruption begins to happen as seen by smokes coming out from the top of the mount. Usually, it follows with main eruption.
When a volcano’s status is raised to “Danger” status, the possible affected area MUST be vacated. Coordination for evacuation is now intensified that monitoring on the volcano is intensified.
The status of Mount Merapi was raised to “Danger” status two days before it erupted. In reality, villagers were still living in the danger zone area although they have been told to leave. They only rushed to refugee camps only minutes before the Mt Merapi spewed hot ashes. Most people managed to run away, while some were trapped as they have no time to run away.
The Level II status of Child of Krakatau volcano has been set since October 31, 2009. In the last four days, its eruption has reached 100 times. “In 2009, the status has been put in level II, but then its eruption had decreased. On October 10, 2010, the smokes start to spew again,” the Head Volcano Observation for Western Indonesia Hendrasto told detik.com.
“On October 17, there are about 45 eruptions recorded at the little Krakatau. Some days later, the eruptions disappeared. But on October 23, the small eruption started again until now,” said Hendrasto. (Hatman Bintang & Roffie K)