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Volcano eruptions and ash in Indonesia

Date : 17 / 07 / 2015
Author : Triadi P. Suparta YB0KVN, and Jim Linton VK3PC.

The continuing volcanic eruptions on Java near Bali continues with ash that has at times, depending upon wind direction, stopped flights to the popular holiday destination. The disruptions also came as millions of Indonesians set off on holidays ahead of the Muslim celebration of Eid.

ORARI (Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia), the IARU member society, is working closely with the Government Agency on Disaster Management (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana/ BNPB), the Meteorology && Weather (Badan Meteorology, Klimatology & Geofisika/ BMKG) also the Volcanology Department. This working group monitoring the volcano and weather situations use the telemetrical instrument set up by the Yogyakarta Province HQ Chairman, Professor Soenarno YB2YOU. The information is then sent by him to a network, using ORARI repeaters as well as Internet and social media administration Agung YC7WAA. They also have a joint operations with the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), the local hospital operated by Ministry of Health (Puskesmas) and the Police Department.

So, the ORARI of Yogyakarta is monitoring on the Mt. Merapi activity, and the ORARI of East Java is monitoring on Mt. Raung mountain, which is blowing ashes up to 2km in the air on Indonesia's main island of Java. Mt Raung began to spew lava and ash high into the air late last month. However the data showed that it's declining now. The expert said that Mt. Raung will now not erupt like it did in the 1953/1955 situation.

ORARI has been asked to bring this good news to the community. The situation is one of being alert but no need to panic. Two airports, Surabaya and Malang, were closed today. The shutdown of the international airport at Surabaya, on the main island of Java, came days after the airport on the nearby holiday island of Bali was closed by ash from the same volcano, stranding thousands of holidaymakers. The main concern is that the ash could become molten glass when entering aircraft engines.

Very recently Mt. Gamalama at Ternate Island also erupted and throwing ashes 1-1.5 km into the air. The Ministry of Transportation has issued a NOTAM
for Ternate Airport.n Indonesia has 130 active volcanoes and occasionally they disrupt air flights and have local impacts.

A report on the activity is likely to be presented at the IARU Region 3 meeting in Bali in October.

- IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee report by Triadi P. Suparta YB0KVN, and Jim Linton VK3PC.



 

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