11,000 flee Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
#1
The mountain's lava dome has swelled in recent weeks, raising fears that it could suddenly collapse and send scalding clouds of fast-moving gas and debris down into populated areas.

The government of nearby Magelang district mobilized more than 40 trucks and cars to evacuate about 11,000 villagers from three sub-districts near the foot of the mountain, said Edy Susanto, a district official.

He said the villagers were taken to temporary shelters, including school buildings.

"Of course it is dangerous. But we don't know for sure whether the lava dome will collapse," said Subandriyo, a government volcanologist who uses only one name.

Red-hot lava flowed as far as one kilometer (half a mile) from the mountain's crater, while gas clouds called pyroclastic flows streamed as far as 2-1/2 kilometers (1-1/2 miles) down its southwestern slope, Subandriyo said.

The 3,000-meter (9,800-foot) mountain is one of the world's most active volcanos.

Activity has risen since a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on May 27 hit a region about 30 kilometers (20 miles) to the south, killing at least 5,862 people.

Some scientists say the quake may have contributed to the increased activity at the mountain.

A major eruption could severely strain quake relief efforts.

The government had earlier urged residents to evacuate from a danger zone on the mountain's fertile slopes, but thousands of villagers remained in their homes, saying they didn't want to abandon their fields and livestock and complaining of boredom at the shelters.

The mountain, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta, is notoriously unpredictable. Government scientists say they're not sure whether the lava dome will suddenly collapse, simply keep growing, or gradually break into small pieces.

Its last deadly eruption was in 1994, when it sent out a searing gas cloud that burned 60 people to death.

About 1,300 people were killed when it erupted in 1930.

Indonesia is located on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. It has 76 volcanoes, the largest number in the world.

Courtesy of cnn.com
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#2
^Next time can you link it so we can see the article directly?

A science teacher of my mentioned how the earthquake might affect volcanoes. It's all elementary plate tectonics and so the earthquakes and volcanoes are closely related.

The impact on aid could be dire, as it usually it is hard to get charity from citizens who have already donated to earthquake aid or have already expended what they could earlier (i.e Hurricane Katrina or the previous earthquake in Kashmir).
 
#3
I think it's absolutely stupid when people disregard warnings about something like this, and choose not to evacuate like they've been told to. If they die when they could have avoided it by just doing what they were told, they pretty much had it coming.
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#4
Well, if you are a farmer, you have to watch your fields or you lose everything, or you can risk the volcano and run the risk of losing everything. It's a lose-lose situation for them.
 
#5
I suppose that's true, but still... lose everything being your farm, or lose everything being your life and the life of your family... I guess it's a bit of a gamble either way, but still, there's a difference.