People wishing to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Mount Bromo have been advised to stay away from the area, which remains covered with a 1-centimeter thick layer of volcanic ash.
“We recommend that people not visit the Mt. Bromo tourism area as the volcano is still erupting,” Gede Suantika, the head of the Mt. Bromo emergency response team, told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
Visibility in certain areas is reduced to between 10 and 20 meters. On Monday, strong winds brought clouds of ash falling on Sukapura district.
Gede said that although the strength of volcanic tremors decreased from 40 millimeters on Sunday to 35 millimeters on Monday, the volcano still spewed volcanic material 1,500 meters into the atmosphere.
The ash is expected to affect tourism, with nearby hotels reporting damage to facilities.
“We’ve received reports from 12 hotels that the ash has caused damage to their facilities,” Probolinggo Hoteliers Association head Digdoyo Satriyo said.
Four hotels at Cemoro Lawang in Ngadisari village, Sukapura — the Hotel Lava View, Bromo Permai, Cemara Indah, and Hotel Kafe — reported collapsed roofs.
The ash has not only caused power outage and a clean water shortage, but also wreaked havoc on farms.
Sri Mukti, a strawberry farmer in Wonokerto village, said he incurred tens of millions of rupiah in losses because ash damaged his plantation.
Supomo, a potato farmer, voiced the same complaints, saying he had planted a ton of seedlings priced at Rp 8,000 per kilogram, now destroyed.
Due to the fertile soil surrounding the volcano, Mt. Bromo is a key farming area in East Java.
Sukapura officials said ash had destroyed 755 hectares of potato plantations, 625 hectares of cabbage plantations, 33 hectares of tomato plantations, 215 hectares of onion plantations and 196 hectares of other crop plantations.