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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 20:46, June 08, 2006
Indonesian people asked to remain calm as Merapi yet to erupt
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The Indonesian government Thursday asked people living in areas around Mount Merapi to remain calm as the volcano had not erupted yet.

"The people must not be worried. Merapi is not to erupt," Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakri said at the presidential office here Thursday, following a meeting on the latest conditions of Merapi.

However, the government warned the locals to stay a safe distance - at least seven km away from the mountain.

"Merapi has spewed hot clouds as usual. And various actions have been prepared to anticipate such activity," Antara news agency quoted Aburizal as saying.

The Merapi Section of the Volcanological Research and Technology Development Center has confirmed that the mountain did not erupt, the minister said.

The heat clouds coming out from the volcano on Thursday morning was similar to those Merapi has been spewing out over the past month.

The minister also warned that since the heat clouds always slid down toward the Krasak, Gendol and Boyong rivers, at least 300 meters from the rivers banks must be vacant, even in the areas which are more than seven kilometers away from Merapi's slope.

He reiterated that the authorities have taken necessary steps to anticipate impacts of the intensified activity of Merapi, in an effort to prevent any casualty.

On Thursday morning, Mount Merapi spewed out massive hot clouds which slid down over a distance of five kilometers toward Gendol River, burned northern part of Kaliadem forest area, Sleman.

Merapi has erupted several times, of which the most deadly took place in 1930 killing 1,370 people. It also erupted in 1994, claiming the lives of at least 66 people.

Source: Xinhua

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