April/May/June 2006 HAZARDS NEWS:
end of June,
ALERT LEVEL 3.,
The alert level was reduced to 3.
As of the 16th of June,
a large PF goes along the river at Kaliadem and kills two locals who tried to hide in a bunker. Because they could not close the door of the bunker, hot gas burned them to death.
27th of May,
EARTHQUAKE (6,2 Richter).,
at 5:57 local time an earthquake hit the city of Yogya and Gunung Merapi. Thousands of people could have been victims. So far the fragile erupting dome of Merapi did not show significant activity or collapses after the earthquake. Although some bigger PF's did occure.
As of the 16th of May,
ALERT LEVEL 4.,
the VGHM reported that spewing hot clouds of gas and bulging with lava, Mt. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, has rumbled to life, and a full-scale eruption is imminent, local officials warn. "The wait is on for larger events," says John Pallister, a geologist with the joint U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)-USAID Volcano Disaster Assistance Program. Now, the main concern is making sure that the local people living on the volcano's flanks are out of harm's way.
As of the 4th of May, the Global Volcanism Network (GVN) reported that on 28 April, CVGHM observed a lava flow from Merapi traveling ~1.5 km SW to the Lamat River. On the 28th, seismicity was dominated by multiphase earthquakes. Signals from landslides, rockfalls, and low-frequency events were also recorded. According to news reports, around 27 April nearly 2,000 villagers were evacuated from Sidorejo and Tegalmulyo villages on the volcano's flanks. On the 27th, small amounts of ash fell in Gemer village about 5 km from Merapi's summit. Merapi remained at Alert Level 3 (on a scale of 1-4).
24 April update - Based on the seismic record that indicated increased volcanic activity at Mt. Merapi, the Directorate of Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (12 Apr.) raised the level of alertness from level II to level III, which indicates that Mt. Merapi may erupt at any time. BPPTK reported their 18 Apr. observation of 113 multi phase tremors, 8 streams of lava, 7 volcanic tremors, with white and thick SO2 smoke of 400 m height from its crater. BPPTK confirmed (19 Apr.) that based on the scientific data, Mt. Merapi will most likely erupt. 2. BPPTK Yogyakarta encouraged communities not to conduct any activities in the river having its upper course at Mt. Merapi. BPPTK Yogyakarta has already developed four scenarios based on the direction of the lava in case an eruption occurs. The Government of Indonesia is working on the third case scenario, one level below the worst-case scenario, anticipating over 80,000 people to be displaced. Since several weeks the volcano was, also spewing smoke 250 m into the air, much higher than normal. Previous information of 21st of March 2006 reported that increasing seismicity at Merapi led CVGHM to raise the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) around 20 March. According to a news articles, small earthquakes were recorded at the volcano on 19 March and more than 200 were recorded during the week. Around 10,000 residents near the volcano were warned to prepare for possible evacuations if activity escalates. Reported by the SWVRC.