25 volcanoes showing abnormal activity
Padang: Twenty-five volcanoes in Indonesia are now exhibiting abnormal activity or have been put under alert or watch status, presidential special aide Andi Arief said Saturday.
“According to official data, 25 volcanoes are now under alert or watch status and they must be given priority with regard to disaster mitigation planning at regency and city levels,” he said at a workshop on the role for journalists in disaster management.
He said there were two volcanoes in West Sumatra that needed to be watched closely, namely Mount Marapi and Mount Talang.
Mount Marapi is located in Agam and Tanahdatar regencies and rises 2,891 meters above sea level, while Mount Talang, rising at a height of 2,597 meters, is in Solok regency and is located only around 40 kilometers from the provincial capital Padang.
Besides these two volcanoes, the government and regional disaster management agencies also advised priority attention toward Mount Papandayan in West Java, Mounts Karangetan and Lokon in North Sulawesi, Mount Ijen in East Java, Mount Gamalama in North Maluku, Mount Krakatau in Banten and Lampung and Mount Lewoloto in East Nusa Tenggara.
“It is very possible that volcano activity can change rapidly, going from relatively calm to abnormal and threatening, due to earthquakes that trigger an increase of magma in their structures, which in turn increases their activity. Therefore, people must remain steadfast in their alertness and preparedness,” Andi Arief said as quoted by antaranews.com.
Andi added that even earthquakes below 5 on the Richter scale could trigger the rise of magma levels in volcanoes, and urged people therefore to be alert not only over large tremors but also small ones.