The Jakarta Post
Mount Merapi on the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta spewed smoke, causing light ash showers in a number of areas located within a 15-kilometer radius on the southeast, south, and southwest side of the volcano, on Sunday.
'Tremors were recorded for around 20 minutes at 4:21 a.m. local time on Sunday, and our observers began to hear thunder at 4:26 a.m.,' said Sri Sumarti, head of the Mt.Merapi division at the Center for Research and Technology Development of Geologic Disaster (BPPTKG) in Yogyakarta on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
It was reported that ember was also seen at the top of the volcano. Sri asserted that, however, there was no lava flow during the volcanic activity.
'The same thing happened after Mt.Merapi erupted in 2010. The smoke blowing this morning was also a single occurrence and was not followed by other seismic activities,' she said.
Sri further said the cause of the smoke blast could not yet be confirmed although a 5.6 Richter scale earthquake with an epicenter some 151 kilometers southwest of Gunung Kidul occurred on Friday.
On Saturday, the BPPTKG also recorded Mt Merapi seismic activities in the form of tectonic quakes occurring four times during the period between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
'We are not able to yet conclude whether the smoke blowing this morning is directly related to the quakes,' said Sri.
She said the volcano's status remained 'active-normal'.
'There is no an increase of [volcanic activity] status. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the conditions of the volcano routinely,' said Sri.
The BBPTKG also urged people living near the volcano and hikers to stay vigilant. "Climbing is allowed only up to Bubar market," it said. (ebf)
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