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0px ‘Times New Roman’; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 15.0px}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}Good afternoon citizens! Your breaking news of the extraordinarily explosive volcanic eruption in Indonesia has arrived. From October 25th to early November, Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupted several times as a heap of pyroclastic flow and streams of FLAMING hot lava are released and bursted out.

As sulfur dioxide, which can be extremely harmful to humans, releases along with it. On November 9, 2010 the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin, Australia had reportedly observed a cloud of sulphur dioxide above the Indian ocean, which was recorded to be between 40,000 to 50,000 feet in the upper troposphere. Since the volcano is 7.5 degrees south of the equator, it had the impact of creating chemical reactions which cause aerosols to remain for years, cooling the climate. Emissions of ash rose up to an altitude of 40,000 feet.

The eruption was caused when the Indo-Australian plate got sub ducted beneath the Eurasian Plate. As Indonesia is left with a terrible aftermath and immense destruction from this volcanic eruption, residents of the country are putting in all of their effort in replacing what had been destroyed. From damaged crops to critical injuries, the past few days have been quite tough for Indonesia… According to the history of Mount Merapi, it had been formed in a subduction zone where the Indo-Australian Plate gets sub ducted beneath the Eurasian  Plate. It is present in the Pacific Ring of Fire and  locates at a destructive plate margin. It is estimated that this  active volcano had been formed approximately 400,000 years ago.

Located in the province of Central Java,  Mount Merapi measures at 2,930 meters in height and is classified as an active volcano. This has become clear to the crowd when government volcanologist Suron said, “We heard three explosions around 6:00 pm (local time) spewing volcanic material as high as  1.5 kilometres and sending heat clouds down the slopes.” Luckily for Indonesia, citizens residing alongside the active volcano were warned  of danger, which was said in advance so that people evacuate and avoid risk of being killed. People sleeping in camps nearside the Mount Merapi decided to return to their homes and back to work. However, from a different perspective, a group of  men refused leaving, insisted to stay, confident that they would be able to escape. This is similar to the previous eruption in 2006, where people residing in Nargomulyio village, which is a city less than 5 kilometres away from the volcano, were warned by government officials of the eruption.

However, the residents refused to evacuate, because they hadn’t noticed common signals which symbolise the coming of a volcanic eruption-15,000 people ignored the warning. Mount Merapi is, as a matter of fact, located in an extremely populated area of Indonesia, which automatically resulted in lots of chaos and negative effects around the area, despite being warned of the eruption.   About 75,000 people were evacuated in advance of the eruption. An estimated 350 victims were reported killed. Many people were affected with critical burns, and a total of  577 people were injured as of today. Workers residing in the area said the villages were in  flames. Volcanologists said that this is the biggest eruption of Mt Merapi, even larger than the one in 2006.

Heatclouds slid up to 13 kilometers far and the explosion had a roaring sound, which was heard even as far as 20 kilometers from the volcano. The eruption resulted in primary effects, caused directly by the volcano, such as volcanic bombs as hot as 800 degrees Celsius spreading to more than 11 kilometers away. Ash had fallen as far as 30 kilometers away and 5 kilometers into the sky! There were also secondary effects, such as an increase in vegetable prices due to the damage done to crops, almost 278,000 people living about 20 kilometers from the mountain were forced to flee their homes and, due to risk of any destruction to aircrafts, planes in Western Australia were prohibited of flying, taking into consideration that Sulphur dioxide from the eruption had been spotted as far as South of Australia. In addition, lahar, which is a disastrous mudflow laying on the slopes of a volcano, was caused by the deposit of ash, rock and lava being continuously washed down into rainfall.    The Mount Merapi eruption had its impacts and responses. Positive impacts included the soil being more fertilized from the ash coming from the volcano.

Another positive impact which resulted from the eruption was the construction of a conservation area near the volcano where it is dangerous to live. On the other hand, the Mount Merapi eruption had many negative impacts as well, such as overcrowded evacuation centers, which resulted in very little privacy, lack of sanitation, and high risks of disease. Many citizens, farmers in particular, lost their livelihoods and 360,000 people were relocated from their homes. In terms of responses, schools, stadiums, government offices, et cetera were used as evacuation centers, and about 210 of these shelters were set up.

Organizations such as the Red Cross offered to help, and 1,600 volunteers and people working the military helped as part of the national aid response in Indonesia. To make up for the damage done from the eruption, the government raised money in store for farmers so that they are able to replace their livestock and crops. The government as also assigned a ‘task force’, which is a unit organized to accomplish an objective or for a specific task. They have done this to assist and support citizens affected by the volcano, whether they have become unemployed, or are undergoing issues with family.As said before, tremendous damage  was done after Mount Merapi had erupted.

According to Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation agency, loss and destruction caused by the eruption totaled 3.68 trillion local  currency (rp), or $299 million. Immediately after the volcanic eruption, the local economy has fairly improved, and the average income in affected areas has risen. However, as the days are passing and citizens are thriving to recover, the improvement is below target overall-could this be because Indonesia is a less economically developed country, therefore it has been more difficult to replace all items lost after the disaster? To minimize future damage from Mount Merapi’s volcanic eruption, many locals in Indonesia have chosen to work at industries which have the big role of disaster prevention, such as reducing strong streams of volcanic mud and minimizing the risk of lahar.

Adding to that, experts have said that there are several warning signs which occur before the volcanic eruption, which include small earthquakes, smoke, heated cloud gas from the volcano’s crater, and lightning storms. Many of the people living around Mount Merapi are farmers, meaning their livestock is vital to them, and any damage done to it may significantly affect their lives and lead to unemployment. The farmers are very poor, and their crops, land, cattle, etc. are often the only thing they have.

Since 2010, the government decided to include the evacuation of livestock into their plan. According to Iskander Lehman, a trainer at the Livestock Emergency Guidelines in Indonesia, cows are to be transferred to safety just as residents are.Glossary-Key Terminology DefinitionsPyroclastic Flow: A mass coming from a volcanic eruption. It consists of lava pieces, extremely hot ash, and gases.

It is disastrous and is generally moving rapidly.Sulphur Dioxide: A gas created from volcanoes, it gives off unpleasant odor and is quite toxic.Troposphere: The layer lowest of the atmosphere.Aerosols: A substance from gas which gets released as a spray.

Subduction: When two of earth’s tectonic plates meet, and one is pushed beneath the other. This can cause many natural disasters such as earthquakes.Ring of Fire: An area or ‘ring’ located near the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place.Mudflow: A stream of  soil mixed with water.


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