17 February 2020 (closed)
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The Sileri Crater at Dieng Plateau, a popular tourist destination in Indonesia's Central Java province, erupted unexpectedly on Sunday (02/07), leading to dozens of injured people as well as panic among tourists and local residents. The area is now closed to all people, while authorities have been evacuating tourists and local residents.
Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) issued a statement that read the eruption is "phreatic", meaning the eruption involves gas or smoke and material emitted by gas pressure under the surface. Although during the eruption there were 17 people at the crater BNPB says there are no deaths, but about a dozen people are treated in hospital. It is the crater's first eruption since 2009.
However, a helicopter (Dauphin AS 36165) crashed near the crater site. This helicopter was used by the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) to monitor the Sileri Crater eruption. All of its eight crew-members died in the incident.
The Sileri Crater is located 2,000 meters above sea level and forms one of the most active craters at the Dieng Plateau. At this popular tourist site there are a total of ten craters. The area is popular among tourists for its natural scenery, its cultural value (the Plateau is the location of eight small ninth-century Hindu temples originating from the Kalingga Kingdom), and the enjoyable cool temperatures. In 1979 an eruption at the Sinila Crater, another crater located at the Plateau, killed more than 140 people who were asphyxiated by poisonous gas.
Indonesia, located on the Pacific Ring of Fire (an area with a high degree of tectonic activity), contains the most active volcanoes of all countries around the globe. There is at least one significant volcano eruption in Indonesia per year. However, usually it does not cause great damage to the environment nor casualties as most of the nation's active volcanoes are located in isolated regions. For an overview and analysis of volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters, click on the link below.
Read more: Natural Disasters in Indonesia