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11 June 2006

volcano has moved, was Sumatra, now Java. Here, look straight into its maw.

The Volcano Merapi on JAVA, one of the large islands in the Indonesian archipelago.

Boy have I really screwed the pooch geographically. In the previous Volcano Bulletin, Agence-Vleeptron Presse misplaced the volcano to Sumatra. The volcano that's blowing its stack this week is in Central Java. It's very near the city of ...

Yogyakarta (also Jogjakarta in pre-1972 spelling or Jogja) is a city and province on the island of Java, Indonesia. It is the only province in Indonesia that is still formally governed by a precolonial Sultanate, the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. The city is known as a center of classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry and puppet shows. It is also famous as a center for Indonesian higher education. The official name of the Yogyakarta province is Special Region of Yogyakarta (Indonesian: Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, or DIY). The city of Yogyakarta is the capital of the province. [Wikipedia]

Vleeptron puts you into Low Earth Orbit and lets you look straight down into Merapi's gaping spewing erupting maw. Click for a better view.

S210: Der Merapi auf Java

Landsat-7-Daten vom 28.4.2001
Hier das Original RGB = (543)
Ein Quicklook zeigt die Lage in Mittel-Java

- Vorbereitung
- Einstieg
- Inhalte
- Hausaufgabe

Ergänzende Materialien:

Entwurf: Roseeu
Gymnasium Gröbenzell

! ! !

Let Bob tell you about the Pyroclastic Flow.

If you look up at the summit of a volcano and see a Pyroclastic Flow, you have just enough time to Think Of Mother.


The Jakarta (Indonesia) Post

(aw heck, not really, it's their pickup
from the Associated Press. But pretend
The Jakarta Post actually sent their own reporter
and photographer and wrote their own story
about the monster erupting volcano in JAVA.)

Monday 12 June 2006

Merapi's lava dome partially collapses,
easing pressure; tear threatens larger bursts

MOUNT MERAPI, Java (AP): A massive blast of searing gas has collapsed a portion of Mount Merapi's unstable lava dome, easing pressure that threatened a full-blown eruption, but the volcano still could be deadly, a scientist said Sunday.

Vulcanologist Antonius Ratdomopurbo said a large, superheated cloud burst on Friday -- the biggest of the year -- brought down a section of the dome.

The blast allowed red-hot lava and scorching gas to escape into a newly formed crater, relieving pressure and lowering the possibility of the dome's complete collapse, which many feared could trigger a major eruption.

"Now that the magma can flow out into the new crater, the dome will become much more stable," Ratdomopurbo told The Associated Press.

But Ratdomopurbo warned that Merapi's 250,000 beleaguered villagers weren't in the clear just yet, as a crack at the foot of the lava dome's southern foot had widened, threatening more powerful surges of superheated gas.

"We warn people to remain alert of the hot clouds that could increase in size and frequency because of the crack," Ratdomopurbo said. "Merapi is still at its highest possible alert."

He said Friday's explosion reduced the lava dome's height from 116 meters to 93 meters, while its volume dropped to 3,300,000 cubic meters from 4 million cubic meters.

Merapi shot out more than 80 bursts of red-hot lava early Sunday, along with two deadly clouds of hot gas that roiled down the mountain, said Triyani, an Indonesian monitoring official.

Magma streamed as far as 4 kilometers down the southern and western sides between midnight and 6 a.m., he said. However, only two searing gas clouds steamed down the mountain, compared with 43 on Saturday.

"Merapi has calmed down since it only sprung gas twice overnight," Triyani said.

A pyroclastic flow -- a fast-moving burst of blistering gases and rock fragments -- is the main concern. More than 60 villagers died that way in 1994.

With the volcano smoldering above them, defiant residents of Merapi's lower slopes have returned from refugee camps to tend to their normally lush green fields, now coated with gray ash. About 15,000 people fled Thursday when hot gas, lava, and ash spewed down seven kilometers from the peak.

Scientists say they don't know for sure if a major eruption is imminent by Indonesia's most dangerous volcano, which has been venting steam and debris since 13 May.

Authorities last month raised Merapi's danger level to the highest mark, and urged residents living near its 3,000-meter peak to evacuate.

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

- 30 -


Blogger dusty said...

In your humble opinion, will this be a bigger or smaller blow than Mt.St.Helens?

Blogger Abbas Halai said...

how about this video about a meteorite hitting earth.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Did you see that previous post map of all the volcanos in Indonesia? Jeez -- them people got angry dangerous volcanos the way my neighborhood got dairy cows!

And this one looms right over one of the most densely populated areas on Earth.

Actually I sorta do know stuff about volcanos, been to see a few nasty ones, love em, read all about em, pester professionals with endless questions ... and you know what?

Nobody Can Predict These Things in the Slightest. In the last 25 years, we've gotten just a little better at When To Sound The Alarm To Flee For Your Lives. But just a little better.

When you get to thinking that humankind has learned enough to Control Nature -- just take a little holiday to a dangeorus volcano with a recent deadly history. That will restore your sense of perspective. We don't know poop, we can't control poop.

So, all that said, here is Nostrabobus' prediction about Merapi:

I don't think it will be a Big Blow like Mount Saint Helens.

I think for the next three months it will spew Pyroclastic debris, mud flows, earthquakes, it will trigger several large evacuations, it will disrupt airline traffic throughout Southeast Asia, and from one cause or another may rack up as many as 100 deaths -- some of it from inadequate government evacuation efforts.

But then I think it will have released its internal pressure to a degree, and will go back to a snoring, troubling, worrisome sleep.

Remember this Prediction, remind me of it in six months.

A volcano reminds you of How Really Small & Weak You Are.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Whoops, hiya Abbas, didn't see yer Comment ...

I think it's really a Waste Of Good Worry to worry about comets and meteors smashing into the Earth. Yes, it happens from time to time -- oh, what, every 40,000,000 years or so, and extincts a gazillion species each time it happens.

But a huge, world-disruptive volcano eruption that colors and darkens the skies for years -- that's a far more common, frequent occurence. It's fair to say there's a Huge Volcano Eruption that really knocks the Planet on its ass at least once in everybody's lifetime.

Still -- nifty video!

Maybe I'm so fascinated with violent volcanos because the one I've been closest to for the longest times, Montserrat, probably caused the same amount of human dislocation, fear, anxiety, fleeing for your life all over the world, as the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.

But there's no Evil Villain associated with a volcano. It doesn't erupt because of seething religious and social hatred.

It's just Nature. And all I saw on Montserrat was how brave and good and strong human beings are.

Wars -- you see some of that, but mostly you see how crappy human beings are.

Just a little thing about Montserrat. It's still a Brit colony, and the Governor made a decision when the volcano started to get really nasty. He started ordering evacuations -- but he said he would not use the police or army to FORCE anyone to leave their home. He could have, but he didn't.

Every great historical eruption -- human beings come back, start planting crops again, rebuilding villages and cities. Volcanos are so much bigger and stronger than we are.

But we don't care.


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