Merapi, Agung, Rinjani, these Indonesian volcanoes to watch out for - Azimuth Adventure Travel Ltd
Merapi, Agung, Rinjani, these Indonesian volcanoes to watch out for

Merapi, Agung, Rinjani, these Indonesian volcanoes to watch out for

Mar 15 2024

2018 was an eruptive year in Indonesia, and numerous earthquakes were felt, particularly in Lombok and central Sulawesi (Palu region). Indonesia therefore made the headlines in the media, due – unfortunately – to the thousands of collateral victims, who suffered the wrath of Mother Nature.


At the time of writing this article, no less than 19 volcanoes are highly active and closely monitored by local scientific authorities. Among them, 3 are of particular interest to us, because they are very popular with experienced hikers and trekkers.


Merapi volcano in Yogyakarta


  Merapi, Agung, Rinjani, these Indonesian volcanoes to watch out for  


Since last August, viscous lava – in effusive eruption – has created a lava dome at the summit of the Merapi volcano which continues to increase in volume, at a rate of 3,000 m3 per day. Scientists fear a collapse of this dome, which would result in the release of fiery clouds and lava. This is the reason why the local population who lives near this “mountain of fire” is not allowed to approach the volcano within 3 km. The lava dome remains stable for the moment, however, and the alert level remains fixed at Waspada (“alert” in Indonesian, i.e. level II on a scale of up to IV). Volcanologists actually estimate that fiery clouds could be triggered if the flow of magma reached a volume of 600,000 m3 per day. It is therefore not recommended to climb the Merapi volcano for the moment (the current rainy season is not conducive to a safe trek anyway), but let's hope that at the dawn of the next tourist season, at the beginning of next May , the volcano will have calmed down and many hikers will have the joy of climbing it again. Failing this, they will always have the possibility of tackling the “old” extinct volcano Merbabu, which faces it and which offers superb panoramas.


The Agung volcano in Bali


  Merapi, Agung, Rinjani, these Indonesian volcanoes to watch out for  


After more than 50 years of sleep – its last eruption dates back to 1963, the Agung volcano woke up in 2017 and above all disrupted air navigation, sometimes causing some panic flows. Since then, the one nicknamed “the summit of the Gods” has calmed down and its last eruption dates back to July 25, 2018 (just before the series of earthquakes that shook Lombok). The alert level remains at III (out of IV), and it is therefore once again not recommended, for the moment, to approach the volcano within 4 km of the crater.


The Rinjani volcano in Lombok

  Merapi, Agung, Rinjani, these Indonesian volcanoes to watch out for  

 The famous Rinjani volcano suffered, this year, the consequences of the earthquakes which affected the island of Lombok last August. Numerous landslides have blocked access to the caldera, and the national park authorities have therefore decided to prohibit the ascent of the volcano. Since the end of the summer season, however, reconnaissance has been undertaken, in particular to check the access routes, and only the path leading to the hot springs (located near Lake Segara Anak) has been reopened. However, it does not allow you to continue towards the summit. The traditional routes via Senaru and Sembalun Lawang therefore remain closed to the public, but local authorities have planned to send workers to unblock these accesses at the end of this rainy season, that is to say around March /next April. The locals have of course understood that volcanic tourism was a significant financial windfall for the populations who live on the outskirts of the Rinjani volcano, and it is therefore a bet that the region will welcome many new hikers from May 2019, because, not only the park Rinjani National Park offers breathtaking landscapes, but it also allows trekkers to measure themselves with the mountain: the ascent of Mt Rinjani is difficult (it is no less than the second highest volcano in Indonesia with its 3,727 m, behind the 3,805 m of Kerinci in Sumatra) and only the most motivated, at the cost of great physical and mental efforts, reach its summit.


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