INDONESIA – Volcanic activity at Mount Merapi, on the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta, dispersed ash within a 15-kilometer radius of the southeast, south and southwest of the volcano, on Sunday. “Tremors were recorded for around 20 minutes at 4:21 a.m. local time on Sunday, and our observers began to hear rumbling at 4:26 a.m.,” said Sri Sumarti, head of the Mt. Merapi division at the Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Center (BPPTKG) in Yogyakarta on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency. It was reported that embers were also seen. Sri asserted that, however, there was no lava flow. “The same thing happened after Mt. Merapi erupted in 2010. The smoke this morning was an isolated occurrence and was not followed by more seismic activity,” she said. Sri further said a 5.6 Richter scale earthquake with an epicenter some 151 km southwest of Gunung Kidul occurred on Friday. On Saturday, the BPPTKG also recorded seismic activity at Mt. Merapi in the form of four tectonic quakes between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. “We are not able to yet conclude whether the smoke blowing this morning is directly related to the quakes,” said Sri. She said the volcano’s status remained “active-normal.” –Jakarta Post
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