Thick Ash Cloud Hits Indonesia

The new eruption of the Merapi vulcano lasted more than 20 minutes this morning. The ashcloud reached Yogyakarta, 25 km away. People in the city started to experience respiratory problems.

The Volcanology Technology Development and Study (BPPTK) Agency in Yogyakarta predicts further explosions. Kompas.com reported the ash rain reached Yogyakarta city center where motorists experienced problems with limited visibility.

The Adisucipto airport was temporarily shutdown for almost one hour, but reopened Saturday morning at 07.00. People smelled strong sulphur in the air, Antara reported.

Some people in the city started to experience shortness of breath due to the volcanic ash rain. The thickness of ash in the busy Maliboro Street was between 5 cm and 10 cm. “I had to stop driving because of shortness of breath,” said Rumi, a retired officer.

The volcanic ash has reached as far as Bantul regency, 60-Km south of Merapi, Antara reported. “I’m surprised because the volcanic ash shrouded the city, houses, trees, and cars,” Santoso, a public service officer in Bantul said.

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