Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - Mount Merapi on the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta Provinces ejected a hot cloud avalanche on Saturday afternoon toward Krasak river.

The volcano started spewing the hot cloud avalanche at 12:12 p.m. local time, Head of the Geological Disaster Technology Investigation and Development Center (BPPTKG) Agus Budi Santoso informed.

"People are advised to stay away from dangerous areas (the mount crater)," he said in an official statement received here on Saturday.

BPPTKG has asked the public to maintain a distance of 7 kilometers from the Mount Merapi crater in the Bebeng and Krasak river flow area.

Based on observations made from 6 a.m.–12 p.m. local time on Saturday, the BPPTKG recorded one lava avalanche with a sliding distance of 1,500 meters to the southwest.

During the same period, Mount Merapi was recorded to have experienced 9 avalanche earthquakes, 1 multiple-phase earthquake, and 19 deep volcanic earthquakes, he informed.

Meanwhile, some parts of Magelang District in Central Java were affected by ash rain from Mount Merapi's hot avalanche clouds.

An officer at the Mount Merapi monitoring post in Babadan, Magelang, Yulianto, informed that several villages were affected by ash rain, namely, Paten, Keningar, Mangunsuko, Dukun, and Sengi in Magelang District, and Tlogolele, Klakah, Jrakah, Wonolelo, and Krogowanan in Boyolali District.

"The ash is not so thick because it was swept away by the wind," he said.

He explained that the hot cloud avalanche was caused by an avalanche on Mount Merapi's dome.

In general, the ash rain did not interfere with community activities, he said.

Mount Merapi has been on alert status since November 2020.

Meanwhile, state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I (AP I) in Kulon Progo International Airport, Yogyakarta, in the south part of Mount Merapi assured that flights to and from Yogyakarta have not been affected by the eruption.

"Until now, flights are safe because the wind is heading west," the general manager of Yogyakarta International Airport, Purnama, said.

He also informed that so far, there have been no reports regarding flight delays from airlines due to Mount Merapi's eruption.

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Translator: Luqman Hakim, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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