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Mount Merapi is a volcanic mountain peak located on the island of Java, Indonesia. On Sunday, August 8, the volcano has been spewing smoke and ash high into the sky and sending an avalanche of lave down its slope.

Fortunately, officials said there are no casualties reported despite covering nearby villages and towns. The 2,968-meter (9,737-foot) volcano's last major eruption happened in 2010, which killed 347 people.

 Mount Merapi Eruption 2021: Indonesia's Most Volatile Volcano Bursts an Avalanche of Lava, Shots Ash High Into the Sky
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Mount Merapi, viewed from Umbulharjo

Mount Merapi Eruption 2021

According to Phys.org, Indonesia's most volatile volcano erupted on Sunday and unleashed hot ash at least seven times and a series of pyroclastic flows. Mount Merapi has released a mixture of rock, debris, lave, and harmful gases.

Hanik Humaida, who heads the city of Yogyakarta's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Cente, said that the rumbling sound could be heard several miles away from Mount Merapi as ash blanketed nearby villages and towns.

Residents in affected areas, especially those living near the fertile slopes, were advised by Indonesia's Geology and Volcanology Research Agency to stay away from the volcano's crater for at least 3.1 miles (5 kilometers).

Mount Merapi's 2,968-meter (9,737-foot) peak is located near the ancient city of Yogyakarta. It is a place where several thousands of people live and a center for Javanese culture where royal dynasties once lived many centuries ago.

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According to Volcano Discovery, Mount Merapi is the most active of more than 120 volcanoes in Indonesia, its most recent eruption this Sunday. It is a steep stratovolcano in Central Java's capital Yogyakarta and erupts every five to ten years.

It is feared for its deadly pyroclastic flows, composed of avalanches of hot rocks and gas generated as part of lava domes during an eruption that slides down the mountain's slopes.

Mount Merapi is situated in Indonesia, a country in the Pacific Ring of Fire in which a volcanic activity is expected to occur.  Its name "Merapi" came from an ancient Java language that translates to "the one making fire," a popular name for volcanoes in East Java and Sumatra Island.

How to Tell When a Volcano is About to Erupt?

According to United States Geological Survey (USGS), there are warning signs when a volcano erupt. this could include the rise of magma toward the surface that usually generates earthquakes. Also, there might be a slight ground surface deformation and heat flow or changes in the temperature and groundwater chemistry.

The USGS listed some of the notable precursors to an eruption on their website, including an increase in frequency and intensity of detectable earthquakes, noticeable steaming or enlarged area of hot ground, ground surface swelling, heat flow changes, and the relative abundance of fumarolic gases.

They noted that these signs do not indicate the intensity and scale of the expected eruption, as mapping previous eruptions best obtain information. Warning signs could continue for weeks, months, and even years before the volcano would erupt.

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