Mount Marapi’s Alert Status Lowered, Yet Risk of Lava Floods Persists

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TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Geological Agency lowered the status of Mount Marapi in West Sumatra from Level III (Siaga) to Level II (Waspada) on Monday afternoon, July 1. This decision reflects the fluctuating eruption patterns observed by the agency over the past week.

Recent volcanic activity recorded by the agency last week, or June 23-30, included periods when the crater was clearly visible and others when it was obscured by fog. Smoke from the main crater appears white to gray, with thin or thick intensity, reaching 100-300 meters above the peak.

Meanwhile, seismic activity has been dominated by gust earthquakes, with few eruption-related earthquakes detected. Surface earthquakes have also remained relatively low in the past two weeks.

Satellite data showed that the volcano’s SO2 gas emissions have steadily declined to low levels (below 300 tons per day) since early May, indicating a decreasing magma supply from the crater.

However, Head of the Geological Agency, Muhammad Wafid emphasized that eruptions could still occur as the volcano releases its remaining energy. Any eruptions are likely to be small-scale, with potential dangers limited to a 3-kilometer radius of the crater.

“The distribution of eruption ash may depend on wind direction and speed. However, eruption material or ash that falls and is deposited on the summit still has the potential to become lava when mixed with rainwater,” Wafid said in a statement received by Tempo.

While the alert level has been lowered, the risk of lava floods and hazardous volcanic gases (CO2, CO, SO2, and H2S) persists near the crater.

“People living near rivers originating from Mount Marapi should stay vigilant for possible lava floods during the rainy season,” Wafid stressed. The Geological Agency also recommended people against entering and carrying out activities within a 3-kilometer radius of the crater.


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