The Jakarta Post
Residents watch volcanic ash spewing from Mount Merapi from the Bukit Klangon observation post in Cangkringan, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on May 12. (Antara/Hendra Nurdiyansyah)
Hikers have been advised to cancel plans to celebrate New Year’s Eve on Mount Merapi due to high volcanic activity.
“We recommend that no activities should take place on the mountain within the 3-kilometer radius of its peak,” said Yogyakarta Research and Technological Development for Geological Disaster Agency (BPPTKG) head Hanik Humaida on Tuesday as quoted by tempo.co.
Usually hundreds of hikers can be found celebrating New Year’s Eve on the 2,968-meter-high mountain peak, which borders Sleman, Magelang, Boyolali and Klaten regencies. Enjoying the sunrise on Jan. 1 surrounded by picturesque clouds are the memorable experiences many visitors crave.
The mountain is said to have started spewing lava and is currently marked at level 2 (caution) status.
According to the BPPTKG, only activities related to the monitoring and observation of disaster mitigation efforts were allowed.
Hikers usually gain access to the mountain from the Selo post in Boyolali regency, also known as the north trail. The south trail that used to welcome climbers prior to the 2006 eruption is still closed.
“Don’t listen to rumors regarding the Merapi eruption that come from unverified sources,” warned Hanik.
Yogyakarta Search and Rescue (SAR) team head Broto Seno echoed Hanik’s sentiments. “Hold off on your plans to climb Mt. Merapi. Other than spewing lava, it’s also dangerous due to the rainy season and potential mountain storms,” he said. (kes)