Rescue worker: Tourists risk lives at Merapi Volcano


Boyolali, Central Java – Dozens of Indonesians and foreign tourists are putting their lives at risk by climbing the Merapi Volcano, a rescue worker warned on Sunday.

Samsuri, from the village of Lencoh, said on Sunday that signs warning of the dangers of climbing the dangerous volcano remained in place after the recent deadly eruptions but were ignored.

Muh Sony, a travel guide who escorts climbers, said dozens of tourists, including 25 foreigners on a science expedition, had climbed the volcano in the last two weeks alone.

He said local tour guides were always willing to escort the climbers, particularly foreign tourists, because of the money they received.

Surono, head of Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG), said lahars from the volcano would remain a threat for the next four years.

Merapi, among the world’s most active volcanoes, began erupting on Oct. 26, 2010, and continued until mid-November.

Some 350 residents were killed by the pyroclastic flows that spewed down the slopes of the heavily populated mountain.