Merapi Eruption in Indonesia

e-mail of Pak Kamdi from 13 Nov. 2010 - "Aid Activities on various levels"

At university level, UGM has developed a unit called DERU (Disaster early response unit). This unit supported by university resources has deployed many volunteers. Working with other institutions both government and civil society they has also provided logistic and health services for the displaced persons and to help traumatic healing. We did the same thing for Aceh in 2004 and Yogyakarta in 2006. In addition, the LPPM has deployed about 500 students as volunteer for a month in four districts, Sleman, Magelang, Boyolali and Klaten. This is a special model of KKN (community services).We did the same thing in 2006 during Yogyakarta's earthquake.

At faculty level, especially in the Faculty of Geography, we develop a unit called KLMB (klinik lingkungan dan mitigasi bencana/clinics for environment and disaster mitigation) which is not only in response to Merapi eruption but it becomes permanent unit under the faculty management. Since the first eruption (26 October) under the KLMB we have developed two sections. First is a group of student who become volunteer in refugees camp. It was in Wukirsari, but after the biggest eruption on Thursday (4 November) night the team was moved to a safer place because Wukirsari was affected by the eruption. The number of students involve in this team are about 50. They distribute logistics both from the KLMB and from other donors. In Wukirsari the students working with the army managed the camp. The second group is GIS group which develop maps based on the survey done by the students (you can see the results in the web). This has been updated daily. This team consists of about 50 students including those who do the survey and those who make maps.
At family level some of the staffs have accommodated the refugees who mostly relative who live in the dangerous area. I give you an example. Pak haryadi (the one who gave presentation during our SS in 2006) now accommodate about 25 persons in his house. I think there are still many people doing the same thing. You have to know that same of university staff even become refugee.
At individual level, each of us try to contribute as much as we can, not only under the coordination of the university but also in the neighborhood. Bu sita, Pak Bai, Pak Didiet may have good example for this case.


e-mail of Ibu Sita from 10 Nov. 2010 - "What happened"

Dear All,
First of all, thanks also for the great academic exchange in Indonesia, and indeed happy to hear good thing from all of you back to your countries.

Along with this email, I would like to share some updates of Jogja current situation. As you all experienced as well, since October 26, 2010 Mount Merapi has erupted, and several days the ashes blanketed Jogja's sky including my house. Me and my family are fine. But there are many people suffering from current situation. The largest eruption for this time (early morning of November 5) has forced the government to ask people move away from Mount Merapi. Due to those intensive large eruptions,
the safety zone was extended to 20 kilometers (my house is 24.78 km from Mount Merapi). Now, more and more refugees come to the city of Yogyakarta to find safety places including in UGM. Even many people (including some of my friends) leave Yogyakarta to where ever
towns they feel safe.

Although today it seems the eruption of Mount Merapi is little bit low, the condition is uncertain. This afternoon an earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale shook Yogyakarta for three to five seconds, and there were much more volcanic earthquakes closed to the mountain. Several dead bodies were still found in the disaster affected areas today.

Many schools and universities have been closed up to November 13, 2010 then. The latest information: 135 dead, 411 injured, 289,613 people in the refugee areas, and the airport is closed due to many volcanic ashes (November 5 - 15, 2010). This forced me also to cancel my trip to Japan for presentation there. My paper is "Effective Seismic Renovation of Vulnerable Areas in Indonesia". It is really what actually happened now. However, this circumstance is totally different in what I have
experienced in response the post earthquake impact. Up to now we have not come to the stage of post disaster. The disaster is on-going. I am sorry for the Philippines delegate that you all missed the flight back to your country as the Solo airport was temporary closed too. Christine how is your flight? Are you still in Jakarta or already back in Cologne?

Right now, we still can not enter the disaster affected areas. What I am doing is: 1. Hand in hand with my families and colleagues help the refugees as what many UGM colleagues and people in Jogja are doing.
2. Started last week end, with several architect colleagues and supported by UGM, we initiate and compose a plan and design for temporary settlements for more than 400 families whose houses were burnt by the hot clouds. The first design within 1.5 ha is planned to accommodate
100 families. Prior to the eruptions, these victims lived in a culturally specific life; an important aspect such as a deep respect to their environment, while growing lifestock as their main income. The lifestock space is one of the important facilities to be designed.
Hopefully, the proposal will be finished tomorrow for fund raising. I am still working for the design with my husband in his office now. This temporary settlement should be ready in the end of this year, and the victims can start to live there on January 2011 for 1 year. What a
hectic project.
3. Although we can not enter the affected areas, UGM-Jogja Heritage Society - Indonesian Heritage Trust, through the secondary data have tried to assess the damage heritage. Soon we have to further observe the damage.

I do hope the disaster is over soon. Somehow, I feel living dangerously. But, I, indeed, love Mount Merapi, the generator of civilization....

Please come to visit Jogja again my dear friends.
With best regards,
Sita Adishakti



Newspaper Review

Indonesia's Merapi erupts again, shelters moved


Article from Reuters-Online 03. Nov. 2010 (Reporting by Telly Nathalia; Editing by Andrew Marshall)

Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupted with renewed strength on Wednesday, the fourth eruption in eight days, forcing authorities to move refugee shelters further away from the volcano, a vulcanology official said.
The volcano, near Yogyakarta on Java island, spewed clouds of ash and gas 5 km (3 miles) into the sky for more than an hour on Wednesday, its biggest eruption so far in the past 10 days. The latest series of eruptions began last Tuesday.
"This is the first time that the eruption has continued for more than an hour, so I decided to move the shelters to 15 km away from the summit from 10 km away previously," Surono, head of Indonesia's vulcanology agency, told Metro TV.
He added the energy from Wednesday's eruption was three times greater than that of the first eruption last week.
"We have moved the shelters 15 km away, but I hope the hot clouds will not reach 10 km from the crater," Surono said.
At least 38 people were killed when the volcano first erupted last week, and about 70,000 people fled to shelters.
There was no word on any casualties from Wednesday's eruption, as most villagers had already evacuated the area.

Futher Articles:
Jakarta Post: Merapi eruptions dispel myths 16. Nov. 2010
Jakarta Post: Latest Merapi eruption largest yet, nearly exceeds danger zone 04. Nov. 2010
New York Times: Ash in the Air, Confusion on the Ground 07. Nov. 2010
Bangkok Post: Thousands flee Indonesia volcano 25. Oct. 2010
Bangkok Post: Jakarta flights cancelled after volcano eruption 05. Nov. 2010
Bangkok Post: Indonesians ignore volcano threat to go home 14. Nov. 2010

Lahar flows and buffer zones by PETA

Merapi Volcanic Activities by WFG

Danger-zones by PETA