Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:

Egon, Indonesia

Egon volcano, seen here from the NW on eastern Flores Island.
The lower flanks extend nearly to both the Flores Sea on the north and the Savu Sea to the south.

Gunung Egon volcano sits astride the narrow waist of easter Flores Island. It's exact position
is 8.67°S 122.45°E. The unvegetated summit has a 350 m wide, 200 m deep crater, which
sometimes contains a lake. Other small crater lakes occur on the flanks of the 1.703 m high
volcano. A lava dome forms the southern 1.671 m high summit. A column of "smoke!" is
often reported above the summit. Strong "smoke" emission in 1907 is considered to be the
only report of an historical eruption.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004
The Sikka regency administration has been forced to close Waioty Airport in the town of
Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara, due to last week's eruption of Mount Egon.
The closure was announced on Monday and all domestic flights from Denpasar in Bali and
the East Nusa Tenggara capital of Kupang to Maumere have been halted for the time being.

All of the equipment and facilities of the airport have been covered by up to one centimeter
of volcanic ash. The health of passengers could have been affected by the ash and smoke
from the volcano.

Mount Egon has been belching out ash and smoke from its crater for more than a week now,
forcing some 2,000 villagers to evacuate their houses on the slope of the mountain.
Many of the 2,000 villagers who were evacuated to safer areas are reportedly suffering from
respiratory problems and skin irritations.

On Tuesday, the volcano spewed smoke up to 2,500 meters high, and ash from the explosion
covered areas as far away as 30 kilometers. Local disaster task force officials from the
Sikka administration have opened community kitchens to provide food for the refugees.

The administration was having trouble distributing aid to the refugees because of transportation
problems. The central government has been asked to to help renovate roads leading to the
refugee camps.
From: The Jakarta Post/Kupang

Saturday, September 11th, 2004
The volcano discharged thousands of tons of rocks, sand and hot ash, reaching a height of
5,000 meters above the crater, far higher than a day earlier, when it spewed smoke some
3,000 meters. Egon began to erupt last Sunday, affecting thousands of hectares of cacao,
coffee, vanilla and clove plantations.

Friday, September 10th, 2004
Strong volcanic activity at Egon beginning on 3 September led authorities to raise the
Alert Level from 3 to 4 (on a scale of 1-4) on 4 September. The increase in volcanic activity
began on 27 August when plumes rose to ~300 m above the volcano and explosion
earthquakes were recorded. This activity prompted the authorities to raise the Alert Level
from 2 to 3. On 3 September an ash plume rose ~1 km above the summit and on
4 September an ash plume rose to ~3 km.

As a consequence, all those living in the villages of Baokrengit, Welimwatu, and Natakoli
were evacuated. On 6 September, an explosion produced a plume as high as 2.5 km above
the volcano that drifted SW. According to a report released by the United Nations Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of 6 September activity at Egon led to
the evacuation of 2,100 people. A total of 4,300 were expected to be evacuated.

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004
Seismologists and officials on Wednesday urged villagers to evacuate their homes near eastern
Indonesia's Mount Egon volcano after it spewed ash and dust on its slopes on Tuesday.
Several eruptions on Tuesday had sparked fears about the safety of about 2,000 people
living on the mountainside.

Several hundred villagers have been sheltering in government buildings in Maumere since
the mountain erupted in July.

July 29th, 2004
The Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (DVGHM) has reported
to day that an eruption began at Egon on 25 July at 2240, consisting of loud rumbling sounds,
a strong sulfur scent, and explosions that rose to 1-1.5 km above the summit.
A thick, black plume drifted NNW from the volcano. Interpretations of seismic data
revealed that the eruption lasted about 2.5 hours.

According to the Darwin VAAC, a plume was visible on satellite imagery. DVGHM reported
that about 630 residents near Egon self evacuated from the villages of Egon, Nangatobong,
and Itoper. According to a news article, about 1,400 people evacuated.
At 1500 on 26 July seismographs recorded nearly continuous explosions produced
plumes to ~250 m above the volcano.

May 15th, 2004

We have received reports that in February more than 5,000 people were forced from their
homes when Mount Egon on nearby Flores island began spewing smoke.

We have later received the following info from VSI:
More than 1,000 of about 5,600 refugees who fled the slopes of Mt. Egon after it began
erupting last week, returned home as volcanic activity continued to die down on Thursday.
As many as 1,000 refugees have already returned home. Some of them went home on their
own initiative. The local government has helped them by providing transportation.
Pregnant women and children have been urged to stay at refugee camps until the volcano
returns to normal.

As of the 5th of February, the Volcanological Society of Indonesia (VSI) reported that
volcanic activity began at Egon on 29 January around 0400 when a landslide traveled
down the volcano's E crater wall. Around 1700 an explosion produced a black ash cloud
to a height of ~750 m above the summit.

During 30-31 January, loud noises from the volcano were followed by emissions of gray ash
clouds. In addition, there was a strong scent of sulfur every 50-60 minutes.

Most of the evacuees are in bad shape after breathing sulfurous gases and are now facing
shortages of food and bedding at accommodation centres. Officials from the Sikka
administration said that the refugees had began to suffer dysentery. What was most needed
was food, medicine and bedding. At least one person was reported dead amid the influx of
refugees. The death toll is likely to increase as the local authorities continue to collect
information on the victims.

Residents began to evacuate the area after Mount Egon erupted last Thursday (Jan. 29th),
spewing dark clouds of ash and molten lava over at least one subdistrict. Other subdistricts
on the slopes of the volcano are now being evacuated. Three subdistricts on the eastern side
of the mountain are next to be evacuated because they may be next to be affected by the
eruption. One person has been reported killed from smoke and ash inhalation from the
eruption of Egon volcano. Thick clouds of smoke and a great discharge of hot ash, large
chunks of sulfur and volcanic rocks were seen nearby.

The eruption caused panic among residents nearby, and they fled the mountain villages
of Hale, Hebing, Lere, Natakoli, Pedat, Bau Krengat and Kelawair. Eyewitnesses said the
lower part of the crater was seen bursting and that was believed to be the main outlet for
the hot lava that spewed from the volcano. The local government has deployed vehicles and
volunteers to evacuate residents. Several public buildings and schools in Maumere town were
being prepared to accommodate the refugees.

Egon volcano. A lake occupies the floor of the crater in this 1920 view. The northern
crater rim marks the 1.703 m high summit of the volcano.

Bilder og tekst denne side: Photo and text this page:
Kimberly, P., Siebert, L., Luhr, J.F., and Simkin, T. (1998). Volcanoes of Indonesia, v. 1.0 (CD-ROM).
Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program, Digital Information Series, GVP-1.

 V S I, Indonesia

 See also our photo-review on Indonesian volcanoes!



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