Indonesian Volcano Death Toll at 242

Published by: Mike Goldman on 15th Nov 2010 | View all blogs by Mike Goldman
Merapi view.jpg

Indonesian Volcano Death Toll at 242

The Indonesian government reported on Monday that the official death toll from the eruption of Mount Merapi last month now stands at 242, with most of those deaths caused by sever burns.  The volcano has quieted since Friday, when residents were sent fleeing again as the volcano spat hot ash into the air, but the government's alert level remains high.

Of the 242 reported dead from the colcanic activity, 165 reportedly died from severe burns, according to the Indonesian National Coordination Board.  The board also said that almost 400,000 people have been displaced by the volcano's recent activity.  Mount Merapi originally began erupting on October 26th, and, on Friday, the peak spewed ash for more than an hour.

Merapi is located on the Indonesian island of Java, just north of the major city of  Yogyakarta.  Although officials declared last Thursday that the worst of the volcanic eruptions are past, a danger zone remains in place within a 12 mile radius of the mountain.  The volcano's massive ash cloud forced President Barack Obama to shorten his visit to the country this week.

Mount Merapi's peak towers to an elevation of about 10,000 feet.  It is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes and lies in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas in the world.  Countless Indonesians farm and live within the shadow of the massive volcano.  An eruption in 1930, Merapi's last major period of activity, claimed about 1,300 lives.

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