Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The Research and Development Center for Geological Disaster Technology (BPPTKG) reported that Mount Merapi, located on the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta, emitted 160 lava avalanches during observations on March 17-23, 2023.

"Mount Merapi is observed to spew lava avalanches 160 times to the southwest or upstream of Bebeng and Boyong rivers, with a maximum sliding distance of 1,800 meters," Head of BPPTKG Agus Budi Santoso noted in a written statement in Yogyakarta, Saturday.

Santoso remarked that during this week, hot clouds of avalanches were also observed to arise from Merapi twice to the southwest, with a sliding distance of 1,300 meters.

Based on morphological analysis from the Deles, Tunggularum, Babadan 2, and Ngepos camera stations, morphological changes were observed on the southwestern dome of Mount Merapi that were triggered by hot cloud avalanches, he pointed out

"While for the central dome, there is no significant change," he stated.

Meanwhile, based on aerial photos on March 13, 2023, the measured volume of the southwest dome was 1,686,200 cubic meters while that of the middle dome was 2,312,100 cubic meters, he remarked.

According to Santoso, the intensity of Mount Merapi's seismicity over the past week is still high.

During that period, Mount Merapi was recorded to have experienced two volcanic avalanches, one deep volcanic earthquake, 41 shallow volcanic earthquakes, 201 multiphase earthquakes, one low-frequency earthquake, one gust earthquake, 821 avalanches earthquakes, and five tectonic earthquakes, Santoso revealed.

He noted that the deformation of Mount Merapi monitored using the electronic distance measurement (EDM) this week showed a distance shortening rate of 0.03 cm per day.

The BPPTKG continues to maintain Mount Merapi's status at Alert, or at Level III, since November 2020. Santoso remarked that currently, potential danger lies in the form of lava avalanches and hot clouds sliding towards Woro River, three kilometers from the summit, and Gendol River, five kilometers from the summit.

Moreover, the potential for danger lies at Boyong River, as far as five kilometers from the summit, as well as Kali Bedog, Krasak, and Bebeng, as far as seven kilometers from the summit.

Meanwhile, the ejection of volcanic material during an explosive eruption can reach a radius of three kilometers from the summit, he said.

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Translator: Luqman Hakim, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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