Merapi volcano, Central Java 5-7th March 2021

Published: 08th March 2021

Activity of the Volcano:

Observed Merapi from a distance of 6.5 to 9 km to the South/Southwest of the volcano, for several hours on the 5-6th March. Weather conditions: Scattered clouds but long periods of clear weather conditions.

The frequency of rockfall events from the 2021 lava dome seemed to be higher than what I observed during my visits in January and February. Indonesian Authorities BPPTKG, The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Geological Agency recorded 210 rockfall events and 2 pyroclastic flows on the 5th March. Pyroclastic flows descended around 1300m below the summit on the 5th March. Rockfall originated from many sites on the lava dome, as may be expected of a growing dome. The lava dome also looks to have increased in size since my last visit, and was as of 5th March around 711.000 m3 with a daily growth of around 13.900 m3, according to BPPTKG. Rockfall from the lava dome was incandescent at night. Sounds of the falling rocks (rockfall) could sometimes be heard from a distance of 6.5km. Incandescence was also in short periods briefly visible from the summit area above/behind the lava dome (see photo 12 and 29).


A 5 km restriction zone is currently in place for Merapi volcano, according to Indonesian Authorities BPPTKG, The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Geological Agency. The volcano is as of today 8th March still on alert level III.


Total photos in this article: – (Available in Jpg/Raw.) 

Total videos: 31

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5-6 March 2021

Photo 1. Rockfall from the right side of the 2021 lava dome leaves a trail of grey ash in the air above it.
Photo 2. Merapi volcano with a Lenticular cloud on the summit.
Photo 3.
Photo 4. Degassing from within the summit crater.
Photo 5. Rockfall from the left side of the lava dome.
Photo 6.
Photo 7. The volcanoes of Sumbing, Sindoro, the Dieng volcanic complex and Slamet volcano, seen from above the flank of Merapi.
Photo 8. Long exposure captures the first seconds after rockfall occurred.
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Photo 12.
Photo 13. The 2021 lava dome during a quiet moment.
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Photo 17. One of the more far reaching rockfall events. One rock also seem to have made a “major jump” during its way down the flank, maybe bouncing as far as several hundred meters.
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Photo 24. 8 minute exposure captures several rockfall events.
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Photo 31. Aerial