News / Asia

    Indonesia's Mount Merapi Volcano Prompts New Warning

    Javanese women carry grass to feed their cattle as Mount Merapi spews volcanic smoke in the background in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 20 Oct. 2010
    Javanese women carry grass to feed their cattle as Mount Merapi spews volcanic smoke in the background in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 20 Oct. 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Increased activity from Mount Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, is stirring fears of an imminent eruption.

    Mount Merapi sits in a lush valley in Central Java. Last week, the volcano jumped to action. Since then the number of tremors have increased dramatically. So have streams of rock and hot gas known as pyroclastic flows.

    The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency on Monday put the area around the mountain on its highest alert status.

    Surono, the head of the agency, says the activity is greater than was seen before the last eruption in 2006.

    "This increase is very, very significant. And then I decided to upgrade the level of Merapi activity from the level three, to the level four," Surono said. "This is high alert."

    Surono has asked the government to evacuate people living on the volcano. His agency is working with the local administration to prepare residents in the four districts most likely to be affected by an eruption.

    After the 2006 blast, the geological agency began working with the government in the nearby city of Jogjakarta to educate people about Merapi's danger. The volcano is one of Indonesia's most active, and eruptions in 1994 killed more than 60 people.

    Superheated gas was responsible for the two deaths caused in 2006. But this time the activity is different.

    Scientists say the swelling of the mountain's slopes indicate the build up of high-pressure gas that could end in a major explosion. But it is the increase in seismic activity that worries Surono most.

    "After the eruption in 2006 this is a period of eruption about every four years. So this is a normal activity in Merapi volcano," Surono said. "What's not normal is the number of earthquakes."

    Heavy cloud cover has obscured the view of the volcano's summit, and Surono cannot predict when it will erupt or how violently.

    Small eruptions occur on Mount Merapi every few years, and big ones come along once a decade. Because of the high frequency of activity, the government often waits to issue evacuation orders until it feels the threat is warranted. The regional disaster management board says more than 50,000 people live in the four districts surrounding the volcano.

    In 2006 many people living on the volcano defied evacuation warnings, preferring to stay and protect their homes against theft.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora