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Merapi volcano (Indonesia), activity update: increasing frequency and shift of main direction of pyroclastic flows

do, 8 jun 2006, 16:38
Pyroclastic flow travelling on Merapi's SW side towards Krasak river (27 May 2006)
Pyroclastic flow travelling on Merapi's SW side towards Krasak river (27 May 2006)

Volcanic activity at Merapi continues to increase gradually since the earthquake of 27 May 2006, with the growing lava dome shedding glowing lava avalanches and pyroclastic flows that increase in number.

Since the 27 May 2006 earthquake, the growth of the lava dome has been about 100.000 m3/day. On 7 June 2006, the height of the new dome was about 112 m and it had reached a volume of almost 4 million m3. Another change concerns the direction of the rock-falls and pyroclastic flows. Since the earthquake, pyroclastic flows were directed mainly towards Gendol valley on the SE, while most of them flowed through the Krasak valley on the SW before the earthquake. The repeated avalanches and pyroclastic flows entering Gendol valley caused caused the collapse of the older Gegerbuaya lava dome on 4 June 2006 at 18.03 local time. The collapsed volume is about 400.000 m3, and the collapsed triggered a pyroclastic flow in the Gendol valley as far as 4 km.

The areas most at risk from pyroclastic flow remain the valley of Gendol, Boyong and Krasak in decreasing order of risk. Aerial observations on 7 June 2006 suggested that pyroclastic flows into Gendol river might develop a tendency to turn right when they collide with Kendil hill, whereas the possibility that they change their direction towards Woro valley is very small.

Source: VSI

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