Merapi Eruption in Indonesia



Report of Pak Kamdi 20 Jan. 2011 - "UGM response to Merapi eruption: translating expertise into practice"

On 4 November 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi reached a very dangerous level. The cosequences therof is extremely horrible. Hundreds of pepole died and thounsands of people had to be evacuated. Although since the beginning the governmant and society have been preparing for the worst situation, but becausee the scale of the eruption which is unanticipated, many problems arise and must be resolved. Gadjha Mada University act quickly to help governments and communities to resolve the problems.

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 have 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 distributing the aids, DERU was fully supported by Indonesian Ministry of National Education. DERU was also actively involved in coordination with many stakeholders which are closely related to disaster management issue, such as National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), Meteorology and Geophysical Agency (BMG), and National Development and Planning Agency. DERU also launched a website (lppm.ugm.ac.id/deru) which reports the update information about activities done by DERU, information about the Merapi eruption (e.g. map of dangerous area, satellite imagery of Merapi condition) and information from the society about the condition of Merapi and victims of Merapi eruption.

To help directly the victims, the LPPM through KKN program, 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) called KKN-PPM Peduli Bencana (KKN-PPM for Disaster Response). Different with regular theme of KKN-PPM, under this theme, students were recruited to be deployed in the disaster area as volunteers. As a volunteer, they had two major tasks: to survey and record the data in the disaster area (number of victims, the condition of the disaster area and the description about disaster response in the area) and to get involved in the evacuation and aids distribution activities in the area. This program also existed during the Yogyakarta's and West Sumatra’s earthquake.

Research Centre for Disaster, Gadjah Mada University responded to Mt. Merapi Eruption by conducting field observation on three major points, such as: identification of basic need assessment, identification of vulnerable groups and damage loss assessment, and analysis of risk based spatial planning. Research activity is carried out to support local government and community to produce better disaster management system. In order to collect data, Research Centre for Disaster was supported by 30 volunteers. Volunteers are divided into two groups, first groups working on field observation and second groups working on data preparation, data analysis and data presentation.

At faculty level, especially in the Faculty of Geography, we have developed 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 since Wukirsari was affected by the eruption. The number of students involved 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 in managing the camp. Till now the students have been working in the village to provide guidance during recovery period. The second group is GIS group which develops 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. We have to bear in mind that this is only an example of activities under the Faculty of Geography. The other faculties have also been working to help the victim based on their own expertise.

Soon after the eruption some of the Indonesian ForUm members initiated to do loss and damage assessment in Borobudur Temple. Aeromodelling Photography Technique for Rapid Loss and Damage Assessment of Merapi Eruption at Borobudur Temple is conducted by Dr. Baiquni and Team. The use of small airplane with remote control was used to identify loss and damage flying over Borobudur Temple. As one of the world heritage acknowledge by UNESCO, Borobudur Temple preservation and conservation are prior action at the aftermath of disaster, including actions to increase community resilience surrounding the temple. The team consists of researchers, hobbyist, photographer, and students. Some findings showed that detail surveys on damage of the temple, garden sites, environment, and communities need to be done besides developing alternative strategies on community livelihood surrounding the temple of Borobudur to get income before the recovery process and tourism activities are recovered.

Another activity is a quick and long term strategic disaster responses conducted by Center for Food and Nutrition Studies in collaboration with Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Gadjah Mada University and Indonesian Association of Food Technologists. A quick response included fund raising activities to help the disaster victims in Yogyakarta and Muntilan. The fund was also used to support student volunteer activity in preparing nutritious meals for the refugees. Training on food processing for snake fruit’s (Sallacca edulis) farmers and community in the disaster affected areas will be conducted in Muntilan, Central Java and Turi, Yogyakarta on 29 December 2010 as a strategic responses to improve their livelihood.


Indonesian Offroad Federation (IOF) had been leading the evacuations and mobilization of the needs for the government, rescue team, police, military, volunteer, and any other institutions that need transport to Merapi Mountain. This IOF is led by Rony Primanto Hari our ForUm member. His team had started on the first blast of Merapi Mountain by helping the rescue team to evacuate the victims in dangerous areas. They also help to distribute logistics to many refugee camps in Yogyakarta and Central Java.
The university is now continuing the activities in the recovery period. Some of them are as follows : 

  • Design the Transitional Shelter, a collaboration work among UGM, Provincial Government, and Donor.

  • Planning, design and fundraising the Merapi Eruption Educational Park, a collaborative work among UGM, Bank Indonesia, Tourism Agency, Indonesian Heritage Trust and Jogja Heritage Society

  • Study on the Damaged Villages as an Impact of Merapi Eruption for basic consideration in the Planning and Design of the Transitional Shelter and Damaged Artifacts Conservation Strategies on the Merapi Ecosystem, LPPM Merapi Emergency Response Grant 2010.

  • After the decrease of Merapi status, UGM are going to plan and design the building of temporary residences for Merapi eruption victims.

The above description might not be able to capture the whole activities of the university. However, we can observe that we do our best to use our expertise to help the victims of Merapi eruption. This is a good start as a basis to develop a concept of “living in harmony with the disaster” which is becoming university next goal.

 

e-mail of Pak Kamdi from 13 Nov. 2010 - "Aid activities- from university to family level"

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

 

e-mail of Pak Didiet, 03 Nov, 2010: "Rapid Need Assessment - Mt. Merapi Eruption, Yogyakarta"

attached the report of our activities in the disaster center of gadjah mada university to give you the idea what we have done and could be done

 

 

 

 

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