November 9, 2010

Mount Merapi at sun rise, before the current round of eruptions

Location: Borobudur, East Java, Indonesia (7°36′29″S 110°12′14″E)
Date: 21 July 2008; 6.10am
Camera: Canon 400D with Sigma 17-70/f2.8-4.5

Mount Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. It has just blown its top for the last 2 weeks and had claimed at least 150 lives. It is a beautiful volcano to look at when it is inactive especially as a backdrop to the fabulous Borobudur complex. This is diametrically different to what it looks like in the last few days with reports of ashes being thrown up 8 km into the sky. In fact the volcanic ashes even fell on Borobudur, 28 km away causing experts to fear that the acidic ash might damage the historic site. Though it is dangerous to live close to the volcano, the fertility of its soil resulting from the volcanic ashes, had attracted a huge population of farmers on its slope. I would venture to guess that after the ashes had settled, farmers will flock back to till on its slopes.

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