Mt. Tangkuban Parahu status lowered to normal
The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has lowered the alert status of Mount Tangkuban Parahu in Bandung, West Java, from caution (the second-highest level) to normal, after observing that the seismic activity is decreasing.
"The threat level was lowered this morning at 9 a.m.," PVMBG head Kasbani said on Monday. He further said the decision was made after evaluating the volcano's seismic activity since Sept. 1, and not spotting any significant phreatic eruption.
Phreatic eruptions occur when magma heats ground or surface water, which eventually results in an explosion of steam, water, ash and rock.
"The current explosions [only] result in the average 50-meter-high steam," Kasbani said, adding that no magma movement could be detected currently.
Despite the new status, the PVMBG advised residents and tourists to steer clear of the volcano's craters particularly its main crater known as Ratu.
The volcano frequently erupted in July and August, spewing white ash as high as 180 to 200 meters from the bottom of its main crater. Visitors have been warned not to approach the crater.
Such eruptions badly affected the tourist sector in the area, PT Graha Rani Putra Persada, which manages the tourist site has said. At least 5,000 traders make a living there.
The mountain is a popular tourist destination.