Smithsonian Institution
Global Volcanism Network Bulletin v. 19, no. 12, December 1994

Merapi (Indonesia)  Pyroclastic flows continue through 7 December

central Java, Indonesia (7.54 S, 110.44 E)

Collapse of the active summit dome on 22 November sent pyroclastic
flows down the SW flank (Bulletin v. 19, no. 10), overrunning
several villages. Although no eruption column was described by VSI
observers, aviation warnings on the 22nd stated that ash rose to 10
km; satellite analysis the next day indicated that the plume was a
low-level feature well below 6 km. As of 7 December, the United
Nations Dept. of Humanitarian Affairs had confirmed 58 deaths; an
Antara news report on 19 December placed the number at 60.
Indonesian and Japanese medical teams conducted life-saving plastic
surgery on 22 critically injured burn victims.

Continuing small eruptions through 7 December sent pyroclastic
flows up to 1.5 km down the Boyong River. An estimated 1 x 10^6 m^3
of pyroclastic sediment has been deposited along the Boyong River,
while another 12 x 10^6 m^3 remains on the slopes near the crater.
Geochemical analysis in late November indicated increased SO2
emissions of up to 44 tons/day.

Most of the >6,000 evacuees were allowed to return home in early
December. However, local authorities decided that 2,700 evacuees
from five villages within 5 km of the summit in Sleman District
(Turgo, Kinahredjo, Kaliadem, Tritis, and Ngandong) would be
resettled locally. Although pyroclastic flows had damaged the
spring-water source that supplies clean water to the Kaliurang Hill
Resort, part of it was reopened on 19 December; the W part was not
reopened because it was still considered dangerous.

Residents along the Code River (15,000 people in 11 villages) in
Yogyakarta were alerted to the possibility of evacuation, because
heavy rainfall in the Boyong River drainage could trigger cold
lahars. Existing lahar control works and sabo dams have been
constructed in the Magelang District W of the volcano. The Boyong
River has only two sabo dams with a capacity of 400,000 m^3. The
Indonesian government plans to construct three sabo dams of 350,000
m^3 capacity each, downstream from the Boyong River.

Information Contacts: U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs,
Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; Reuters
Information Services; Antara News Agency, Indonesia; Bureau of
Meteorology (see Dukono).