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Twenty Indonesian volcanoes ‘ready to erupt’? (updated) 1 October 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Indonesia, volcano monitoring.

[UPDATE. The Jakarta Globe story has moved here, and the number of volcanoes allegedly ‘ready to erupt’ has increased to 21. The article lists three volcanoes at alert level 3 and eighteen at alert level 2. The latter group is as listed below with the exception of Seulawah Agam, which is omitted for some reason. The article has been extended, but remains a complete non-story from start to finish. It also remains utterly dumb.]

‘Volcano observation experts are warning that twenty volcanoes across the archipelago are ready to erupt’ – that’s what it says [new location for the story here] in the Jakarta Globe, anyway. According to the Globe‘s report, the head of the Indonesian Institute of Volcanology and Mitigation of Natural Disasters has ‘raised the volcanic activities status of 17 volcanoes in Indonesia, from “normal, or level 1” to “beware, or level 2”.’ Three more volcanoes — Sinabung, Ibu and Karangetang — are on higher levels of alert.

However, according to the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) website, 20 volcanoes are on level 2 (yellow) anyway, with Merapi and Seulawah Agam being the most recent to have had their alert levels raised. Karangetang and Ibu are on level 3 (orange), as is Sinabung, where the alert level has just been lowered from level 4 (red). Many of the volcanoes on level 2 have been there for two or three years.

So it’s far from clear just what that Jakarta Globe article is all about.

Alert levels for Indonesian volcanoes, 1 October 2010 (source: VSI):
LEVEL 3 (ORANGE). Sinabung, Karangetang, Ibu. [=3]
LEVEL 2 (YELLOW). Merapi, Seulewah Agam, Egon, Talang, Batur, Kaba, Anak Krakatau, Semeru, Slamet, Sangeang Api, Rinjani, Rokatenda, Soputan, Dukono, Gamalama, Papandayan, Lokon, Kerinci, Bromo. [=19]

References to volcano alert levels on this blog are not authoritative and are not necessarily up to date. You should always check with official sources for the latest alert levels.

Danger ratings of twenty Indonesian volcanoes raisedJakarta Globe, 1 October 2010
[The above story no longer available – replaced by the version below.]
21 volcanoes across country ready to eruptJakarta Globe, 1 October 2010

Volcanological Survey of Indonesia – News and information portal for the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia
Map of Volcanic Activity in Indonesia – a useful summary and map from indahnesia.com

The Volcanism Blog


1. Nick - 2 October 2010

Funding drive for volcanologists?

2. admin - 2 October 2010

There’s probably something in that idea, Nick. The volcanologists in Indonesia could certainly do with more funding. The publication of actively misleading news stories doesn’t seem the best way to go about that, however.

3. Henrik - 2 October 2010

Why not think of it this way: Your (historical) volcano quotes do tell us much about the people who made the comments and contemporary society. This news item would to future generations of vulcanologists, taking it at face value, seem to be testimony of a period of unusually high volcanic activity. That is, until brought to the attention of a scientist with proper schooling such as history and/or linguistics. Failing that, a dose of common sense might yield the same interpretation.

4. Beano - 3 October 2010

I would suggest that the increase of reported volcanic activity in Indonesia is in direct proportion to the increase in available communications such as the internet.

Unfortunately in a country with almost 240 million people fiscal priorities lie in other areas besides watching geological disturbances.

I would suggest that the VSI have their hands full with the threatening volcanos in Java and the ongoing Lusi disaster.

5. Pietro Giorgianni - 6 October 2010

I hope the disaster will be avoid this time

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