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Under the Volcano

Seven Indonesian Volcanoes Placed on ĎAlertí Status

(5/26/2013) Seven volcanoes in Indonesia have been placed in the "alert" or “siaga” status by the Center for Vulcanology and Natural Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG).

The second highest of four warning levels given by the government to volcanoes, “siaga” or “alert” status is given when the level of seismic activity increases and explosions are regarded an imminent possibility.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the chief of PVMBG, Surono, said, “most of the active volcanoes (covered by the alert) are located in North Sulawesi – Mount Soputan, Mount Karangetang and Mount Lukon.”

Four more mountains covered by the alert are Mount Ijen in East Java, Mount Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara, Mount Papandayan in Garut – West Java and Mount Sangiang Api in West Nusa Tenggara near Bima, Sumbawa.

All seven mountains remain under close surveillance by PVMBG.

The four levels assigned to all volcanoes in Indonesia from lowest to highest are normal or dormant, waspada or beware, siaga or alert. to Awas or Danger.

Surono said when and if a volcano will actually explode is difficult, if not impossible, to predict. A siaga status does not guarantee a large explosion will follow. But the issuance of a “siaga” status is meant to make local populations aware of a growing threat of a volcanic explosion.

At least two of the seven volcanoes on the current list pose a potential threat to aviation for Bali if a prolonged explosion were to take place.