Merapi, a steep stratovolcano north of Central Java’s capital Yogyakarta, is Indonesia’s most active volcano. It erupts on average every 5-10 years and is feared for its deadly pyroclastic flows.
According to the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), a significant eruption may be imminent at the volcano.
On November 5, a sharp increase in seismicity was noted, and authorities quickly raised the volcano’s alert level from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1 to 4) and also upped the Aviation Color Code to Red. Furthermore, residents and tourists have been advised to stop all activities within the vicinity of Merapi, while hundreds of people living on its slopes have been evacuated.
After powerful eruptions in March and June, Merapi started stirring again in October with both seismicity and deformation increasing: “Based on this, it is possible the volcano could experience an explosive eruption or fast magma extrusion,” said CVGHM volcanologists.
Potential hazards include lava flows, ejection of volcanic material, and pyroclastic flows to a maximum distance of 5 km (3.1 miles). Moreover, particulates ejected to altitudes above 32,800 feet (10 km) –and so into the stratosphere– often linger, where they can have a direct cooling effect on the planet.
On Friday, November 7, the local disaster mitigation agency said about 500 people from four villages, mostly the elderly, pregnant women and children, were taken to emergency shelters in Central Java’s Magelang district: “Emergency measures to evacuate people living within 6 km (3.7 miles) of the crater’s mouth are being prepared as local administrations in Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces closely monitor the situation.”
Merapi’s 2010 eruption killed 347 people and forced the evacuation of almost 400,000 — that eruptive period lasted from October 26, 2010 to July 15, 2012; and was classed as VEI 4.
Stratovolcano: 2968 m / 9737 ft
Central Java, Indonesia: -7.54°S / 110.44°E
Current status: ERUPTING (4 out of 5)
Merapi is a highly explosive stratovolcano — a large Plinian eruption takes place every few 1000 of years (the last ones at about 1000 BP and 2000 BP), sometimes with associated flank collapse.
The volcano, one of Indonesia’s most active, lies in one of the world’s most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time.
For more see volcano.si.edu.
Full Eruption list: 1548, 1554, 1560, 1584, 1586(?), 1587, 1658, 1663, 1672, 1678, 1745, 1752, 1755, 1768, 1791, 1797, 1807, 1810, 1812-22, 1822-23, 1828, 1832-36, 1837-38, 1840, 1846, 1848(?), 1849, 1854(?), 1861, 1862-64, 1865-71, 1872 (large vulcanian-subplinian eruption VEI:4) , 1872-73, 1878-79, 1883-84, 1885-87, 1888, 1889, 1891-92, 1893, 1894, 1897, 1902, 1902-04, 1905, 1906-07, 1908, 1909-13, 1915, 1918, 1920-21, 1922, 1923(?), 1924, 1930-31, 1932, 1933-35, 1939-40, 1942-45, 1948, 1953-58, 1961, 1967-1970, 1971(?), 1972-85, 1986-90, 1992-2002, April-July 2006, Oct 2010-2011 Feb, 2018 (May), late 2018 – ongoing (already classed as VEI 3)…
For more see VolcanoDiscovery.com.
Seismic and Volcanic activity has been correlated to changes in our sun.
The recent global uptick in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is likely attributed to the drop-off in solar activity, coronal holes, a waning magnetosphere, and the influx of Cosmic Rays penetrating silica-rich magma.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift
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