Indonesia’s volcano Mount Kelud eruption blasted debris and ash about twelve miles into the atmosphere, killing three people on Thursday. National and international airports in Indonesia were shut down, and some resumed service on Saturday. Mount Kelud’s volcanic explosion on the island of east Java, Indonesia, covered the entire region with ash particles, disrupting travel and tourism business, the transportation system and dislocated thousands into temporary shelters. Mount Kelud is part of the 130 most explosive Pacific Ocean’s “ring of fire” active volcanoes.
According to the Indonesian authority, Java was on alert on Saturday too, however, the worst part was over when the volcano erupted at Mount Kelud, Indonesia. The airport authority began to clear the runway to resume flights. The local population also has started to clean the ash and rocks from their roofs and streets. Furthermore, around 100,000 people were evacuated from the region. Spokesman Handy Heryudhitiawan at airport Angkasa Pura said that four airports are now operating, including Juanda airport in Surabaya, located within 54 miles north of Mount Kelud. Surabaya region is considered an international industrial hub and one of the busiest places in Indonesia. Other airports in Java that were closed on Friday were Semarang, Solo, Malang, Yogyakarta, Bandung and Cilacap. Cilacap is another prime center and is mostly known for oil refineries. When Indonesia’s Mount Kelud erupted, it disturbed the air traffic and stranded many passengers with cancelled flights.
The environmentalists have said the atmosphere is dangerous and unhealthy in the volcanic region of Java, and wearing masks is mandatory. Most of the casualties were a result of a roof collapse and respiratory problems. The emergency teams are allocated by the Indonesian government, and they are reaching to rescue the victims. The response group is trying to provide help, food, masks, and blankets to the displaced people as well. Political parties and their members who will be running in the upcoming elections in April are also there to assist the victims.
Currently, the seismic activity has been reduced at Mount Kelud; however, alert and evacuation is necessary within ten kilometers of the region. Officials believe that landslides can contaminate the valleys and water in the region. After Mount Kelud erupted, many people have returned without official permission to check their livestock and clean the aftermath. Around 56,000 people are still in temporary shelters.
Mount Kelud stands 1,700 meters high in the eastern region of Java. Around 5,000 volunteers are helping out the residents and the affected in the area. Local farmers believe that the catastrophic volcanic eruption at Mount Kelud was a “blessing in disguise”, since ash kills pests from the crops. The ash covered more than 600 kilometers. Java is home to more than a million people, and the fallen ash needs clean-up. The police and troops are using water cannons to eliminate the ash from the places and the roads.
In 1990, Mount Kelud’s volcano erupted and killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds of people. It is believed that in 1919, the eruption from Indonesia’s Mount Kelud killed more than 5,000 people, and that was the most deadly explosion that people heard, even from hundreds of kilometers away.
Earlier this year, Indonesia had another volcanic eruption that killed 11 people, destroyed crops and displaced thousands. Mount Sinabung’s eruption in Sumatra was also part of the 130 active volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean belt. Indonesia’s Mount Kelud’s eruption spewed rocks, debris, and ash that blanketed the rooftops, roads, and atmosphere which requires massive cleanup.
By Iqra Amjad