Mount Merapi rumbles on while Anak Krakatau crater expands and Obama flies in to Jakarta

A closer look at Anak Krakatau

Anak Krakatau: Image via Wikipedia

Yogyakarta’s Adi Sutjipto domestic and international airport has been closed until at least next Monday Nov. 15, at which time another decision would be made. Despite the ban on civilian and commercial flights in and out of Yogyakarta, the Indonesian Air Force was still operating Hercules flights to deliver aid to the internally displaced.
More than 300,000 people are believed to be housed in government shelters.

Indonesian rescue workers resumed efforts to retrieve bodies of victims from an eruption of Mount Merapi in central Java on Nov. 5, after surface temperatures forced a halt to the search on Monday. More than 320,000 people are housed at evacuation centers outside the 20-kilometer safety zone in four regencies in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces, the National Disaster Management Agency said in a statement on its Web site today. Evacuees reached 280,000 people yesterday.

“Volcanic activity is relatively stable this morning compared with yesterday,” said Oka Hamid, a spokesman at Red Cross Indonesia’s Yogyakarta branch. “We recovered two remains in one village but we have to leave another four as the field is hard to reach and they’re all covered with thick ash.”

Meanwhile –

The crater of Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait has expanded to a diameter of 25-26 meters, an Indonesian volcanologist says. The news comes as the frequency of eruptions of the volcano, once misidentified as Krakatoa, increases: On Friday there were 615 eruptions, on Saturday 623 eruptions, and on Sunday 668.
Anton S Pambudi, a official from Banten province monitoring the eruptions, said the eruptions over the past two weeks had changed the shape of the crater. Authorities have warned that several other volcanoes in Indonesia are showing increased signs of activity. These include Mount Karangetang on Siau Island in North Sulawesi and Mount Ibu on Halmahera Island in North Maluku.

Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah said she believed that Anak Krakatau did not pose a threat and that the eruptions, which can be seen from the western tip of Java Island, were interesting to observe.

Philippine Airlines Inc., Emirates, Eva Airways Corp. and Valuair Ltd. resumed flights to Jakarta on Monday after suspending them for two days, PT Angkasa Pura, the Soekarno-Hatta international airport operator said on its Web site. Singapore Airlines Ltd., Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Japan Airlines Corp. restarted services on Sunday.

President Obama arrives in a few hours in Jakarta.

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