Garut Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) chief Zat Zat Munazat has instructed Garut residents, especially those living close to Mount Guntur, to stay calm after the volcano’s alert level was raised to waspada (caution) or level 2 from normal or level 1.
“Mount Guntur is still at a level that poses no danger; so we ask people not to panic,” Zat Zat told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Tuesday evening.
Mount Guntur spewed lava and pyroclastic materials such as hot gas, volcanic ash and rocks, between 1840 and 1847.
“Mount Guntur has not erupted for 162 years,” said Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) head Surono via text messages.
The PVMBG recorded an increase in volcanic activity at Mount Guntur from January to March.
“There has been an increase in seismic activity since 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday in which volcanic tremors have been recorded,” said Surono.
Based on the results of seismic, visual and deformation (the change in shape of the volcano) monitoring, the PVMBG increased the status of Mount Guntur to caution starting at 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
“We will continue to intensively monitor volcanic activities while at the same time coordinate with the local disaster mitigation agency,” said Surono. (ebf)