The volcano Mt. Barujari on the island of Lombok, just east of Bali, reportedly erupted Sunday morning at approximately 10:45 am local time.
The active volcano is situated right in the east side of the caldera of Lombok’s popular trekking mountain Rinjani. It’s nine kilometers or about a 12 hour climbing trip up, said Mutaharlin, chairman of the Rinjani Volcano Observation Post, in the village of Sembalun. “We’ve already set the alert status from the normal level,” he told Tempo on Sunday.
The head of Sembalun Resort, Mt. Rinjani National Park (TNGR), Zulfahri, said from Mataram that the island is still experiencing smoke and dust fall on a small scale after the eruption.
“The condition of the smoke at the beginning of the eruption was not too big, but we have made efforts to evacuate the climbers for fear the eruption continues to expand,” Zulfahri said, as quoted by Republika.
He said he did not know the exact number of climbers that were still at Lake Segara Anak, Rinjani’s crater lake.
“There are four members of the TNGR team still up (on the slopes) to evacuate the climbers. I am not yet exactly sure how many climbers are registered, but the data will make everything more clear,” Zulfahri explained yesterday.
The evacuation was apparently being routed through a climbing lane in Torean, North Lombok, which hasn’t been hit as hard with smoke and dust from the eruption.
Zulfahri confirmed that the official hiking trails through Sembalun and Timbanuh, in East Lombok and Senaru in North Lombok have all been closed.
“Ascent activity has been closed because the conditions do not allow for the safety of the climbers and this information has been conveyed to tour guides via the internet,” he said.
TNGR has also contacted the organizers of the event “Mulang Pekelem,” a two-day religious upacara (ceremony) on Rinjani’s slopes.
Mt. Barujari’s last reported eruption was on May 2, 2009 with a death toll of 31 people, due to floods resulting from the eruption. The mountain previously erupted in 2004 but thankfully no casualties then. Other recorded eruptions were in 1944, 1966, 1994.
First and foremost, we sure hope everyone’s ok. We also hope this doesn’t screw around too much with flights like Raung did earlier this year.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons