Gunung Merapi, on the border between Central Java and Special Region of Yogyakarta, is Indonesia’s most active volcano. In English, the name quite literally translates to “Fire Mountain,” which is an apt description for a stratovolcano which as regularly erupted since the mid 16th century. Smoke is often seen wafting from the volcano’s crater, and several recent eruptions have proven to be fatal to the local population living at its base. Recently, the 2010 eruptions killed an approximate total of 353 people and displaced 320,000 more when lava erupted from the volcano.

The volcano is now 2930 meters in height, and its most recent eruption was on 3 March 2020, when I was living 28 km away in the city of Yoygakarta. Gunung Merapi is so volatile because it sits on the subduction zone between the Indo-Australian and Sunda plates.

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