Sabtu , 24 March 2012, 23:00 WIB

Mt Marapi spews volcanic ash

Red: Yeyen Rostiyani
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Gunung Merapi, Sumatra Barat
Gunung Merapi, Sumatra Barat

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, PADANGPANJANG - Mount Marapi in West Sumatra spewed volcanic ash up to 100 meters into the sky on Saturday afternoon. The 2,891-meter volcano spewed ash for about seven minutes, Murtini, a resident of Koto Baru village located on the slope of the volcano, said on Saturday. While officials said the ash was expected to fall on part of Tanahdatar district, West Sumatra.

"Shortly after the volcanic ash ended, the volcano no longer sent out ash. Mount Marapi has not sent out volcanic ash for quite a long time," she said. Additionally, the falling ash did not disrupt the lives of the people living on the slope of Mount Marapi, she said. "The wind blew in the eastern direction so the ash mostly fell on the eastern part of Tanahdatar district, which is quite far from the volcano," she added.

However, the Bukittinggi Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) continues to recommend maintaining the volcano at the second highest alert status and declaring it off-limits to anyone climbing within 3 km of its peak. The volcano has spewed thick smoke and volcanic ash almost daily since it began showing signs of increased activity on August 3, 2011.

Mt Marapi is one of West Sumatra's active volcanoes. It sent out sulfuric volcanic ash 1,000 meters into the sky on August 3, 2011. That ash fell onto a number of areas, including Agam, Tanahdatar, Padangpariaman, and Padangpanjang. The volcano last erupted in 2005. When inactive, the mountains adjacent to Mt Singgalang and Mt Tandikek have always been a destination for climbers. Also, every New Years it is crowded with mountain climbers.

Sumber : Antara