As volcanologists warned on Wednesday that Mount Merapi remained a serious threat, international airlines once again cancelled flights to Jakarta.
“The Mount Merapi play is far from finished. We’re still waiting to see what happens next,” said Surono, head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG).
“I’m not going to reduce the status of the mountain from the highest alert.”
The death toll from the eruptions has now reached 191, with more than 340,000 people forced to evacuate.
F our international flights were cancelled on Wednesday due to Merapi’s volcanic ash, after weekend service was disrupted.
Rubi Baskoro, an official at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, said Valuair, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Malaysia Airlines had cancelled their midday to evening flights on Wednesday.
Jetstar, Qantas’s low-cost carrier, has also revised service to Bali.
Eric Risandi, a forecaster at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), said that unless Merapi spews more clouds, the ash would recede by Friday.
“At the current rate, the volcanic ash has reached Banten. The disruptions will also depend on the strength of the next eruption, because right now the concentration of Merapi’s volcanic ash in the air has started to decrease,” he said.
“If another eruption similar to the ones on November 3 or 4 occurs, it will definitely disrupt more flights.”