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Jakarta Post

Tectonic earthquake sparked Mt. Merapi'€™s recent activity

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Mon, March 10, 2014   /  06:08 pm

Mount Merapi erupted on Monday morning, causing a thick-pyroclastic surge to shoot 1,500 meters up in the air.

'€œThe eruption took place at around 6:54 a.m. and the ash spread up to 7 kilometers from the volcano'€™s crater," Subandriyo, the head of the Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Center (BPPTKG) in Yogyakarta.

The most severely-affected areas were in Kemalang and Balerante Klaten regency, scores of villages in Magelang, all in Central Java; as well Yogyakarta. '€œThe volcanic ash fell to a depth of 1 millimeters,'€ he said.

Subandriyo explained that the eruption may have been sparked by a tectonic earthquake, which measured 5.4 on the Richter scale and occurred around 115 kilometers southeast of Malang regency, East Java, on Sunday evening.

He further said that the discharge of volcanic ashes constituted a regular phenomenon after major eruption of Mt. Merapi in 2010 and not a sign of escalation of activities of the mount. Therefore, he asked the residents who lived in nearby villages to remain calm.

Separately, Sukiman, a resident of Deles district, which is located within a radius of 7 kilometers from the peak, said: '€œThe ash fell on my village for around half an hour. The villagers hit kentongan [bamboo drums] to warn others of the danger. Residents rushed out of their houses and gathered along the street to see what was happening.'€

Sukiman also explained that many villagers were preparing to evacuate. (yln)

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