Date:         Mon, 28 Nov 1994 08:51:00 MST
From: Global Volcanism Network 
Subject:      Merapi VSI report, 28 Nov 1994

The following report was received from the Volcanological Survey of
Indonesia by GVN on 28 November 1994.

           central Java, Indonesia (7.54 S, 110.44 E)
              All times are local (= GMT + 7 hours)

     Pyroclastic block-and-ash flows and glowing surges on 22
November resulted from the collapse of the active dome at the
summit (figure 1).  As of 28 November, 41 people had died and
another 43 were injured and in serious condition at hospitals.  All
of the victims lived in areas near the bank of the Boyong River,
which flows S from the summit of Merapi to the middle of
Yogyakarta.  The threat to areas on the S flank was noted in
February 1994.  The Boyong and other rivers on the SW flank where
previous nuee ardentes have caused destruction had been mentioned
in Berita Merapi (Merapi News), sent to local governments including
Sleman Regency, every month since March.  Rockfalls from the dome
recently traveled down these rivers for distances of 500-1,500 m.
Prior to February 1994, no rockfalls were observed or reported
along the Boyong River.
     Activity increased with the appearance of low-frequency
earthquakes on 20 October (figure 2).  Multiphase events and
rockfalls continued to be recorded at normal levels, with
occasional low-frequency events and one tremor episode on 3
November.  On 4 November the marked increase of activity was
reported to the Chief of Regencies around Merapi.  During 21-22
November, a team from the Merapi Volcano Observatory (MVO) climbed
to the summit to observe dome development and install an
extensometer station to measure cracks.  The first nuee ardente was
recorded instrumentally at 1014 on 22 November at MVO, and was
observed visually from the Plawangan, Ngepos, Babadan, and Jrakah
observation posts.  The team at the summit saw a vertical plume
that originated from a location somewhere on the S part of the
dome.  A glowing cloud was clearly seen from the direction of
Plawangan to the S.  The intensity of the nuee increased at 1020,
prompting the observer at Plawangan to send a warning to the
forestry officer posted at Kaliurang, a well-known tourist resort.
The officer then yelled a warning to the local people.  Five
minutes later (1025) MVO instructed all observation posts and radio
stations of the Regional Task Force that the Alert Status had been
raised to Level 4, and that preparations for evacuation should
begin.  At 1045 the observer at Plawangan sent a message to the
Chief of Pakem District, but he was already in the field, probably
because he had heard the previous warning.  An evacuation warning
was radioed to regional task forces at 1100.  By 1215 the first
victim had been discovered.  The Plawangan observation post was
abandoned at 1508 and the personnel temporarily moved to Kaliurang.
The nuees had diminished by 1720 that evening.
     Information Contact: Sukhyar, Volcanological Survey of

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