Slopes of Mount Merapi Still Smoldering (Photos)

By Wayan Manuh
The Epoch Times
Created: November 17, 2010 Last Updated: March 14, 2012
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YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia—Ash and rock cover the land in some areas, volcanic rocks still burn and smolder, although it has been ten days since Mount Merapi’s last major eruption. Smoke still billows from the top of the volcano in Indonesia.

At least seven hamlets were completely destroyed by the eruption in Jurang Hamlet of Kepuharjo village, alone. Smoke still rises from the ashes and ruins of home; the air above them distorted by heat.

There are no signs of live in the smoldering ash. Even the rains that washed over Cangkringan District for the last several days were not enough to cool the land, after the Nov. 5 eruption rained down ash heated to thousands of degrees Celsius. Walking across the ashen wasteland in Pager Jurang on Tuesday, the heat can still be felt.

After chunks of rocks, varying in size, flattened the villages, the area resembles images of Mars seen in sci-fi films. Most houses and trees were leveled. The rotting smell of cattle carcasses stings the nose.

Some refugees, desperate to return home can only stare in shock at what remains. "I lost all the cattle, all my land," said Mr. Karmanto, in Batur Village, Kepuharjo.

Mr. Karmanto, like many, is concerned about the future of his family. His five children and two grandchildren are taking refuge in Maguo Harjo, Sleman.

The once lively area has grown quiet, and the full damage wrought by the volcano is yet to be seen. The once popular resort town of Kaliurang Village is still off limits. Located just over two miles from the tip of Mount Merapi, it is still in the designated danger zone.

Mr. Yatiman, from West Kaliurang came to help with relief work. "I'm coming to take care of livestock and the displaced,” he said, adding that he would return in the afternoon to get food.

Mr. Yatiman comes from a town just 17 miles north of Yogykarta. He used to come to the area where cultural sites and natural beauty drew tourists. It was once a place where locals would take their family for a fun weekend, yet nature had a different plan, the horrors of which will not soon fade.

The Northeast end of Kaliurang, once a hub for shops, bustling with souvenir and food stands, is now home to what seems as fragments of the shattered peak of Merapi.

At a small bridge connecting to the town, the ruins of a cold lava flow are visible after the rain.



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