The Jakarta Post
The volcanic Mount Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) as seen from Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga in the Indian Ocean on Sept. 22. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
Following the announcement of above-normal levels of activity at 20 volcanoes across the country, the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) has asked travelers to stay alert while visiting volcanic areas.
The PVMBG head of western region volcanic mitigation, Kristianto, said the center had sent teams to several locations, namely Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra; Mount Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) in the Sunda Strait, South Lampung regency, Lampung; and Mount Soputan in Minahasa, North Sumatra, for 24-hour observation of volcanic activity.
In addition to sending teams, the center also focused on monitoring volcanoes that served as popular holiday destinations, such as Mount Tangkubanparahu, Mount Gede and Mount Papandayan in West Java, the Dieng Plateau in Central Java and Mount Bromo in East Java.
The PVMBG had established lines of communication and coordinated with tourist management groups in the areas to urge that they remain cautious.
Coordination is considered important as some of the volcanoes could erupt without or with no significant warnings. For travelers who want to visit the volcano areas, Kristianto suggested that they research beforehand and frequently check on the status of volcano activity.
The PVMBG sent recommendations to local administrations and tourist management groups on the volcanic activity of each volcano. “If the activity seems normal, check our recommendations on which areas should be avoided,” added Kristianto.
Furthermore, local residents were encouraged to heed warning signs that had been installed and study the evacuation routes.
“Pay attention to the weather. It’s not recommended to visit a volcanic area when there’s no sun,” he said, referring to smoke emitting from Dieng that could accumulate and endanger visitors.
The warning also applies to Mount Salak. “In 2007, six people died after inhaling a concentration of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide at the crater,” he said. (jes/kes)