1. Indonesia's most active volcano, Mount Merapi, erupted early Saturday, 11 July 1998, spewing a heat and gas cloud over an area of seven kilometres, news agencies reported.
2. Mount Merapi is one of the 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia and is located about 30 km north of Yogyakarta. In one of its largest recorded eruptions in 1994, heat clouds killed more than 60 people and forced more than 6,000 to flee to safer ground.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
3. On 9 July 1998, Mount Merapi has been upgraded to "alert" status, one step short of requiring mass evacuations. On Saturday, 11 July 1998, the "alert" was changed to "danger", the highest warning on the scale. The four stages of warning for Merapi are normal active, caution, alert and danger.
4. As of 13 July 1998, there were no reports of casualties and the government has eased the warning from "danger" back to "alert" requiring people to be prepared to flee at short notice.
5. The provincial administration has sent relief teams, including medical workers, to 15 villages in Dukun, a subdistrict with a population of about 41,000. Currently no outside assistance is required by the local government of the district Magelang.
6. OCHA Geneva is in close contact with UNDP Jakarta to monitor the situation.
7. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet WebSite at: http://www.reliefweb.int
Telephone number: +41-22-917 12 34
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Press to contact: Ms. E. Ponomareva, Tel. +41-22-917 23 36
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