Mount Merapi in Indonesia emitted lava in March 2019 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – The Merapi and Agung volcanoes in Indonesia emitted incandescent lava on May 31, with a sliding distance of 870 m and an ash column of 2,000 m, respectively.

Hanik Humaida, head of Indonesia’s Geological Disaster Research and Development Centre (BPPTKG), noted that cameras monitoring the lava avalanches indicated that it was flowing upstream of Gendol river.

Mount Merapi is located on the border between Yogyakarta and Central Java.

According to visual observations, smoke from the crater was visibly white and of thin to moderate intensity, rising 30 m above the crater's peak.

Moreover, the BPPTKG reported four earthquakes – two of low-frequency and two multi-phase earthquakes.

The BPPTKG has maintained the status of Mount Merapi at Level II and has advised against conducting climbing activities apart from those for disaster mitigation-related investigation and research.

The BPPTKG has called on residents to refrain from conducting activities within a 3 km radius of Mount Merapi's summit.

The BPPTKG has appealed to those residing around the Gendol river to step up vigil over the extent to which the hot clouds from Merapi will dissipate.

Moreover, the community was urged to not be incited by issues pertaining to Mount Merapi's eruption, and continue to follow the directions of local government officials or relevant agencies.

Meanwhile, Mount Agung, about 70 km from the tourist spot Kuta on the resort island of Bali, erupted at midday on May 31. However, the eruption did not force any cancellation of flights in Bali international airport.

The status of Mount Agung also stayed at Level II, while local people and tourists were warned against coming to areas within a 4 km radius from the volcano’s crater.

In June 2018, Mount Agung’s eruptions caused the cancellation of about 300 flights, affecting more than 27,000 passengers.

Five months later, the volcano spewed an ash column of 2,500 m, resulting in the temporary closure of Bali’s airport and losses of up to 660 million USD for the island’s tourism sector.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and a large portion of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. 

During 2018, a total of 11,577 earthquakes had struck the country, many of which resulted in grave casualties. –VNA