Monday, August 8, 2011

18 Indonesian volcanoes on alert status

There are over 150 volcanos in Indonesia.
Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 13,466 islands and thirty three provinces. With over 238 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country, and has the world's largest population of Muslims.

Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world's eighteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and fifteenth largest by purchasing power parity.

The Indonesian archipelago has become an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.

Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest—and the politically dominant—ethnic group. Indonesia has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism including rebellion against it.

Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread in contemporary Indonesia.

The Jakarta Post: 18 Indonesian volcanoes on alert status

Eighteen Indonesian volcanoes are on “alert” status, two of which are at Alert Level 3, which is called “Siaga”, the Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation Center says.

Center head Surono said Sunday in Jakarta the erupting Mount Lokon in North Sulawesi and Mount Ibu in North Maluku were the two volcanoes at Siaga status.

The center has adopted four levels of alert status: “Normal” (Level 1), “Waspada” (Level 2), “Siaga” (Level 3) and “Awas” (Level 4).

Surono said the conditions at Mt Lokon and Mt Ibu were currently considered most worrisome because they had been consistently erupting searing clouds affecting a radius of 2.5 kilometers.

He added, however, that the eruptions had not yet endangered people living around the volcanoes.

“The eruptions are heading west, while people are concentrated in east,” he said as quoted by

Surono added that 16 other volcanoes were at Level 2 alert status, “Waspada”, including Mt. Papandayan and Mt. Guntur in West Java.

“Locals have reported several quakes,” he said.

Surono said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had summoned him on Saturday to report the volcanoes’ status and the center’s preparations to anticipate possible disasters.

He said ideally there should be an expert monitoring the activities of each volcano in Indonesia, as is the case in Japan.

“Currently an expert handles five mountains.”

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