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Seven Indonesian volcanoes in Level III alert status

Posted on January 5, 2012, Thursday

JAKARTA: The Centre of Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) on Thursday declared that seven out of 127 volcanoes in Indonesia are in danger status of level III (alert), according to China’s Xinhua news agency.

The volcanoes are namely Mount Papandayan in West Java province, Mount Lokon and Mount Karangetan of North Sulawesi province, Mount Kawah Ijen in East Java province, Mount Anak Krakatau in the border of Banten and Lampung provinces, Mount Gamalama at North Maluku province and Mount Lewotolo in East Nusa Tenggara province, respectively.

Out of the seven volcanoes, authorities are focusing on Mount Kawah Ijen, Mount Gamalama and Mount Lewotolo as their eruption impact is the biggest compared to others, said Head of the National Agency of Disaster Mitigation BNPB) Syamsul Muarif.

He said that the BNPB and regional agencies of disaster mitigation are enhancing preparation and planning to anticipate the impact of the volcanoes activities.

Explaining further, he said that Mount Kawah Ijen contains huge danger if it erupts as it threatens as many as 9,000 people living surround the volcano.

“The biggest threat of Mount Kawah Ijen is not hot cloud, flamed material launch or volcanic ash, but is within its volcanic lake containing 30 million metre cubic of water with deadly acid level,” he said, expressing disappointment that people refuse to evacuate despite several warnings.

While, increasing activities of the Mount Gamalama will expose and force, 638 people to take refuge. Last year, there people were killed by cold lava flood of the volcano following heavy rain on the top of the volcano.

Mount Lewotolo, with eruption type of explosive holds primary danger of volcanic bombs and hot cloud. However, Syamsul said that data shows that there has been no strong eruption that claims lives since 1660.

Although Mount Lokon in the city of Tomohon of North Sulawesi has erupted on Dec 27, last year, he said such incident still does not force people to take refuge.

“Mount Anak Krakatau that erupts almost every day with small intensity does not pose any danger to people as it locates in a strait connecting the islands of Java and Sumatra.

The volcano, he said is in a growth phase and there is a small possibility that it erupts like what happened in 1883, triggering strong tsunami and claimed thousands of lives. – Bernama

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