The eruption of the Merapi volcano causes the closure of airports in Indonesia
The authorities prohibit approaching this area of the island of Java wherein 2010 more than 300 people died
The eruption of the Merapi volcano in Indonesia, one of the most active in the world, projected on Tuesday a giant ash cloud of a height of 6,000 meters, which forced the closure of aeroplanes and the diversion of air traffic on the island of Java.
“We listened to loud noise for five minutes, and I saw the plumes of smoke from my house,” a resident of the department of Boyolali, where the volcano is located, told AFP. The authorities did not raise the alert level after the eruption that occurred in the early morning. Still, they temporarily closed the international airport of the city of Solo, also called Surakarta, some 40 kilometres from the volcano.
The ash mixed with sand projected by the Merapi, near Yogyakarta, the cultural capital of Indonesia, fell within a radius of ten kilometres. The Center for the Prevention of Volcanic and Geological Risks prohibited the inhabitants from approaching less than 3 kilometres from the volcano due to the risk of lava flows, burning clouds, gas clouds and the projection of ash and rocks.
In 2010, a Merapi eruption killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of 280,000 inhabitants. It was the most powerful eruption since 1930 one, when 1,300 people died, while an explosion in 1994 caused 60 victims.
The archipelago of Southeast Asia has more than 17,000 islands and islets and about 130 active volcanoes. Indonesia is located in the so-called Pacific ‘belt of fire’, where the friction of tectonic plates causes frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.