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Out Of Mind » SOLAR & PLANETARY ALERTS & INFO » ATMOSPHERIC CHANGES » Lava dome on top of Mount Merapi collapses

Lava dome on top of Mount Merapi collapses

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1 Lava dome on top of Mount Merapi collapses on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:53 pm


Lava dome on top of Mount Merapi collapses

Posted on October 21, 2012

October 21, 2012INDONESIA Solo,
Central Java. A lava dome that formed on top of Mount Merapi following
its 2010 eruption has collapsed, prompting volcanology officials to
issue a warning on Friday of possible deadly cold lava stream on the
mountain slope. Tri Mujianto, from the Merapi mountain observatory in
Jrakah, in the Selo subdistrict of Boyolali, said the lava dome had
disappeared but he could not say precisely when. “The dome is now no
longer there but we were not able to monitor when it collapsed. Some [of
the material] may have fallen inside [the crater] while some may have
flowed into the channel of Apu River,” he said. They have not been able
to determine the cause of the collapse, as there has been no rain in the
crater area for days. They also haven’t been able to estimate the
volume of cold lava in the collapsed dome. Tri said the alert status for
Merapi remained at the normal level but warned that should rains fall
over the crater, cold lava stream may flow down through natural river
channels. A cold lava stream is congealed lava and other volcanic mud
and debris flushed down the slopes of a volcano by heavy rains.
“Entering the rainy season, the frequency of cold lava stream is rising.
We have checked the conditions at the craters several times and it
appears to still be very much unstable. People on the slopes of Merapi,
especially those living on the banks of rivers originating from the
peak, should remain alert,” he said. Meanwhile, Subandriyo, the head of
the Volcanology office in Yogyakarta, said that parts of the lava dome
facing Boyolali district had collapsed, and ventured that it was due to
its fragile condition. “The collapse was not directly recorded because
there were so many small deflagrations. On the scale, they did not even
reach one kilometer down the slope,” Subandriyo said. He warned that
rains with intensity of more than 20 millimeters and lasting more than
two hours were enough to trigger flash floods of cold lava down the
mountain’s slope. –Jakarta Globe

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