Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: "Indonesia on volcano alert despite signs of calm
Thu April 14, 2005 10:42 AM GMT+05:30
By John Nedi
BUKIT SILEH, Indonesia (Reuters) - Areas of Indonesia were still on high alert over two volcanoes despite signs their activity was abating, vulcanologists said on Thursday as frightened residents remained in makeshift camps.
Mt Talang on Sumatra island had visibly calmed down after belching out smoke and hot ash, triggering the evacuation of more than 26,000 people.
'There is now less smoke coming out of Mt Talang ... the height of the smoke is down to 250 metres,' Surono, a vulcanologist from the Directorate of Vulcanology and Geophysics in the Java city of Bandung, told Reuters.
At the peak of its rumbling on Tuesday, the 2,690 metre volcano spewed smoke to heights up to 1,000 metres.
Officials, however, maintained a top alert level on Mt Talang, which lies near the city of Padang, 938 km northwest of Jakarta, and also kept the status of Mt Tangkuban Perahu at the second-highest level.
Tangkuban Perahu is on Java, Indonesia's most populous island, near Bandung, where leaders from Asian and African countries are due to gather in 11 days for a summit meeting.
Vulcanologists have also issued an alert at the third highest level on Mt Anak Krakatoa (Child of Krakatoa), off the western tip of Java, due to increased activity marked by rumblings.
'The increased activity (of Anak Krakatoa) is not very significant compared to Tangkubang Perahu and Talang,' vulcanologist Dali Ahmad said, adding that the 300 metre volcano had not spouted any smoke or volcanic materials.
Anak Krakatoa emerged after the massive explosion that destroyed the original island volcano of KKrakatoa in August 1883. That eruption triggered a tsunami, killing more than 36,000 people in Java and Sumatra.
Local officials said the 26,000 people who had been evacuated from the slopes and areas around Mt Talang in West Sumatra have not returned to their home villages over fears of eruption.
"The status of Mt Talang is still on top alert so it's better to take precautionary steps and not return for the time being," said Elvi Sahlan, deputy mayor of the town of Solok near the volcano.
On Thursday, thick volcanic dust layered homes and fields in the villages at the foot on Talang, and residents had deserted the surrounding areas.
Indonesia -- but especially Sumatra -- has been hit by daily aftershocks since the massive earthquake on Dec. 26. A quake off Sumatra on March 28 killed at least 676 people, many on Nias island off Sumatra's west coast.
Indonesia currently has 129 active volcanoes throughout the archipelago, the majority on densely populated Java, the Directorate of Vulcanology said on its official webpage."
Mom said sodara2 gw yang di Padang dah pada pasrah semua..
Rasanya pengen nangis deh.. pada kenapa sih ini?