Posts Tagged ‘cold lava floods’

Mt. Merapi rumbles on and rains cause cold lava floods

January 10, 2011

Mount Merapi has continued erupting in the past two or three weeks but at much lower intensities than the  fatal eruptions which occurred on October 26 and November 5.

Island Crisis reports that:

YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) — With heavy rainfall accompanied by sporadic but strong wind currents, Indonesia’s Yogyakarta was hit by the largest outflow of cold lava and mud, locally known as lahar dingin, since October’s Merapi eruptions, local media reported.

The cold lava damaged several bridges and created chaos as traffic flow was cut off for around 18 hours on one of the city’s main highways, which was flooded under meter-deep lahar in several areas. “In addition to destroying the Gempol main bridge on the Putih River, lahar also destroyed bridges in other villages, leading to the isolation of hundreds of residents in seven hamlets,” Heri Prawoto, head of the Magelang district’s Disaster Management Office, told the Jakarta Globe.

But the resilience of humans is amazing.

The Merapi Golf Course in Yogyakarta, covered in ash. image credit: DigitalGlobe.

In Merapi’s Shadow, a Tourism Boom

The golf courses may be covered in volcanic ash, but tourists are flocking to Indonesia to see devastated villages near the recently eruptive Mount Merapi volcano.

Tourists with a curiosity about the aftermath of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are being courted to the central Javanese city of Yogyakarta, Reuters reports.

The eruptions, which began on Oct. 26, killed more than 350 people and created nearly 400,000 refuges. That destruction, it seems, is a selling point for local travel agencies desperate for tourists’ dollars. “In the new volcano tour package, we’ll take customers to explore the closest village to the peak and see how bad the devastation is,” Edwin Ismedi Hinma, of the local tour agencies association, told Reuters. “Then we’ll take them to a river to watch cold lahars flood past.”

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