Indonesian authorities have advised visitors to steer clear of Mount Bromo in East Java, following an escalation in volcanic activity there.
Akhmad Subhan, an official at the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG), said on Friday that officials had recorded a higher frequency of volcanic earthquakes at the site, as well as an increase in the volume of the smoke and ash plume coming from the crater.
“Everyone can see easily that more smoke is coming out of Mount Bromo, as high as 100 to 150 meters and heading southwest,” he said.
Ayu Dewi Utari, the head of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, said the alert for the volcano had been raised from level 1 to level 2 on the government’s four-point scale.
“Visitors are not allowed to get to the crater and we suggest they keep a safe distance of at least one kilometer from [the crater],” she said as quoted by Tempo.
Ayu said park officials had put up warning signs in the area and instructed tour guides and rented SUV drivers to not approach the crater.
Bromo, rising to an elevation of 2,329 meters, is popular with visitors for its hiking and driving trails as well as scenic beauty.
The increase in volcanic activity there is the latest in a series of volcanic disturbances around Indonesia this year.
A series of eruptions at Mount Rinjani in Lombok last week forced the closure of airports in Bali and Lombok because of the threat posed by volcanic ash to aircraft engines.
The eruption on Mount Raung in East Java in late June and early July also prompted the closure of Bali’s Ngurah Rai, the country’s second-busiest airport.
Bromo’s last major eruption, in January 2011, forced some international airlines to cancel flights to Bali.(JakartaGlobe)