Saturday, December 11, 2010

Merapi Eruption In Indonesia (2010)

The 2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi began in late October 2010 when Mount Merapi in Central Java, Indonesia began an increasingly violent series of eruptions that continued into November. Seismic activity around the volcano increased from mid-September onwards, culminating in repeated outbursts lava and ashes. Large eruption columns formed, causing numerous pyroclastic flows down the heavily populated slopes of the volcano. Merapi's eruption was said by authorities to be the largest since the 1870s.

Over 350,000 people were evacuated from the affected area. However, many remained behind or returned to their homes while the eruptions were continuing. 353 people were killed during the eruptions, many as a result of pyroclastic flows. The ash plumes from the volcano also caused major disruption to aviation across Java.
The mountain continued to erupt until 30 November 2010. On 3 December 2010 the official alert status was reduced to level 3, from level 4, as the eruptive activity had subsided.

On 26 October at least 18 people, including a two-month-old baby, were found dead due to burns and respiratory failure caused by hot ashes from the eruption. Thousands were evacuated within a radius of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) around the slopes of the volcano.

By Wednesday 27 October the death toll had risen to at least 25. The death toll included an elder, Mbah Maridjan (grandfather Marijan), known as the volcano's spiritual gatekeeper, who was found dead at his home approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the peak. The Yogyakarta Kraton subsequently confirmed his death. The 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) exclusion zone remained in place at the volcano with evacuation and ongoing search and rescue activities continuing at the site in an attempt to locate further victims of the previous day's eruptions.

Later reports revised the toll upward to 30 persons recorded at Yogyakarta's Dr. Sardjito Hospital with 17 hospitalized, mostly with burns, respiratory problems and other injuries. Earlier on 27 October two of the 28 bodies at the hospital had been identified. Yuniawan Nugroho, an editor with the news portal, was reported to have been killed while conducting reportage on the night of Tuesday 26 October, the other was later identified as Indonesian Tutur Priyanto, a 36 year man working for the Red Cross as a volunteer on the mountain. Tutur Priyanto had been retrieving and escorting residents from the slopes of the mountain. After making many trips he returned for a further ascent at 15:00 to assist others to come off the mountain and died during one of the subsequent eruptive events. The Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency stated at 10:00 on morning of 1 November that 38 people had been killed and 69,533 evacuated since Merapi began erupting on 26 October. The victims came from the district of Sleman, Yogyakarta, where 37 people (including 25 men and 12 women), and 1 baby died. Indonesia's vulcanology agency warned that flights around Yogyakarta may be disrupted.

By the afternoon of 5 November the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency was reporting 122 deaths attributable to the Merapi eruptions, primarily residents from Sleman, Daerah Istimewa, Yogyakarta. In the report made at 15:00 the additional victims who died on 5 November contributed as many as 64 people to the total, also mainly residents of Sleman, Yogyakarta (DIY). They died due to exposure to heat clouds from Mount Merapi on Friday at 01:00 in the morning. An additional 151 people were reported as injured and admitted to four Yogyakarta hospitals. Dr Sardjito hospital had 78 people, Bethesda Hospital had 6 people, Suradji Hospital 35 people, Tirtonegoro 7 people and Sleman Hospital Panti Rapih 25 people. Most of the victims died in heat clouds at approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the summit. Bronggang, 14.5 kilometres (9.0 mi) from the crater, had been designated as a safe zone. Soldiers joined the rescue operations there, pulling at least 78 bodies from homes and streets blanketed by ash 30 centimetres (12 in) deep. People there had been killed when hot ash clouds from the crater had travelled down the mountain in pyroclastic flows at speeds of up to 100 kilometres (62 mi) per hour and engulfed their village. Injured were removed on stretchers many with clothes, blankets and mattresses fused to their skin by the heat. Many of those killed on 5 November were children from Argomulyo village, 18 kilometres (11 mi) from the crater, according to emergency response officials and witnesses. On 5 November full emergency response operations were announced under the single command of Syamsul Muarif, the head of the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) in co-operation with the Governor of Yogyakarta, the Governor of Central Java, the Commander of Diponegoro, IV, Central Java Military Region, Central Java police chief and police chief (Polda-National Police-DIY) of Yogyakarta.

On the morning of 6 November BNPB provided a victim report. At that time there were 198,488 refugees, 218 people were injured, and 114 people had been recorded as having died. All the victims came from the districts of Sleman, Magelang, Klaten and Boyolaliin.

The JakartaGlobe reported on 8 November that that at least 135 people had died on Merapi's slopes over the previous two weeks, and that authorities were still struggling on Sunday to help those injured from Friday’s massive eruption. The bodies of four members of the Indonesian Disaster Response Team were found on the slopes of Mount Merapi on Monday, 8 November. A Search and Rescue (SAR) team discovered the bodies at 06:00 at the Glagaharjo barracks. The building itself had been destroyed by a volcanic mudflow according to the returning retrieval party. The team reported recovering four bodies and seeing one further. Another body in Banjarsari hamlet was found by an Army Special Forces (Kopassus) team. However rescue officials had to retreat as eruptive activity made their further presence on the slopes too dangerous. A hot ash cloud from an eruption forced the SAR group to leave the area carrying only one corpse while the three other bodies were left behind. The Jakarta Globe, quoting the Antara news agency, reported the same day that a total of six bodies of the missing Disaster Response Team members were recovered from the village of Glagaharjo in Sleman, Yogyakarta. The bodies of another two members of the response team, known as Tagana, were yet to be found or recovered. The victims had been missing since Thursday and were presumed dead.
On Monday 8 November Dr. Surono, Head of the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) reminded volunteers and rescue workers that eruptive activity was still high. Volunteers were reminded to be aware of the mortal danger presented by the pyroclastic clouds and were encouraged to concentrate on assisting the living at the refugee shelters rather than being concerned about the evacuation of the dead from the mountain. It was made clear by Dr. Surono that only Army Special Forces, specialised Search and Rescue teams, and the Police should be involved in those highly dangerous activities. Nine further victims died from the further eruptions of Mount Merapi at Dr Sardjito hospital in Yogyakata on Monday 9 November bringing the total number of deaths recorded there to 97, with 103 victims still being treated at that hospital.

The death toll was reported to be over 153 by 9 November with at least 320,000 people reported to have been evacuated to emergency shelters. One hospital recorded 12 more bodies brought to its morgue on 9 November, including seven pulled from a destroyed village. Another five people who were being treated for burns died.
The National Disaster Management Agency announced on 11 November that the death toll since the first eruption on October 26 had climbed to 194, three quarters of those from searing heat blasts during the biggest eruptions and included deaths from respiratory problems, heart attacks and other illnesses related to the eruptions.

The number of people killed by the ongoing eruptions had risen to 275 by 18 November. The National Disaster Management Agency announced the death toll had climbed after more than a dozen victims succumbed to their injuries, the majority of those being from severe burns. 
Most of the 275 people were reported as being killed by searing gas clouds and from respiratory complications, burns and other illnesses related to the eruptions. Some victims died in road and other accidents during the panicked exodus from the mountain. By 22nd November, the death toll had risen to 304 and by 24 November the toll had risen to 324. Syamsul Maarif, head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) explained that the death toll had risen after a number of victims succumbed to severe burns and more bodies were found on the volcano’s slopes By 3 December the toll had risen to 353.

So, pray for Indonesia, okay?


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