Indonesia's Merapi Volcano to Erupt? Highest Alert Issued

“Indonesia has raised the alert for its most volatile volcano, Mount Merapi, to its highest level and warned villagers in threatened areas to move to safer ground,” BBC has just reported.

The activity in the volcano has reportedly increased to a great degree over the past few days and local residents have been told to evacuate to safer areas. Officials from Indonesia say that about 500 volcanic earthquakes were recorded on the mountain over the weekend.

“The magma has been pushed upwards due to the escalating seismic energy and it’s about a kilometre below the crater,” government volcanologist Surono said.

The volcano, on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, last blew in June 2006, killing two people. Luckily, the people there were well-prepared for that eruption. Unfortunately, “An eruption in 1994 killed 60 local residents, while about 1,300 people died in a 1930 eruption.”

Thousands of people live on the flanks of this active volcano.

The Merapi volcano has erupted regularly since 1548, making it the most active volcano in Indonesia

“People living within a 10km (6 mile) zone” have now been told to evacuate, BBC reports.

Photo Credit: eo_kuro via flickr (CC license)

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