Uncertain Topographies

Active Benefits and Latent Danger Mount Merapi – literally “fire mountain” in Javanese – has lived up to its name for the last 10,000 years when it was formed, as only in the last 100 years alone, it has accounted for 24 eruptive episodes and it is estimated to have claimed well over 130,000 casualties since 1800. In its last eruption, 356 people died and 350,000 people were evacuated. Mount Merapi is known to be one of the most dangerous and active volcanoes in in the world. Notwithstanding, over one million people live near the imposing volcano and some villages are located only a staggering 2kms away from its summit. This normalisation of life after frequent periodical eruptions and the proximity of villages to a very dangerous volcano could be explained by the many benefits it brings to the communities that have made this land their home. Periodical ash fall makes this land very fertile and crop production is significantly better the closer to the volcano. It is an interesting fact that although volcanic soils cover just one per cent of the Earth’s land surface, it supports roughly ten per cent of its population. After the 2010 eruption, many farmers on the southern slopes of Merapi turned away from farming – in the villages that were destroyed by pyroclastic flows – and took on sand and rock mining which is possibly a more lucrative activity. Some miners earn 50,000 –100,000 rupiah (US$5 –10) per day filling up trucks with sand that is used mainly for construction. Finally, tourism is also an important industry. There are mainly two types of travel activities dependant on Merapi in two different areas; in the North slopes, between mount Merapi and mount Merbabu, near the village of New Selo; and in the exclusion zone in the south, where villages such as Kinhrejo and Kepuharjo were destroyed in the 2010’s eruption. The start of the climb to the peak of mount Merapi is in New Selo, in the north side of the mountain. In the south, tourists are taken in Jeeps to visit the exclusion zone and the villages that were destroyed in the 2010’s eruption.

Mount Merapi, north of Yogyakarta

Near bunker Kaliaden

Sand mining east of bunker kaliadem

Evacuation route at Huntap Pagerjurang village

Football field at Huntap Pagerjurang village

Model of Mount Merapi at Merapi museum

Mount Merbabu (as seen from mount Merapi) 01

Bunker Kaliadem

Measuring instruments at mount Merapi observation post Babadan

Museum Sisa Hartaku, Kepuharjo village, Yogyakarta 01 (destroyed village during the 2010 eruption now a museum and stop over for jeep tour)

Rice and chilli fields in Krinjing Village, Magelang, Central Java

View of sand mining from batu alien, Kepuharjo village, Yogyakarta

Jeep tour at Kalikuning, Hargobinangun village, Yogyakarta

Notable rocks 01

Notable rocks 02,03,04,05

Notable rocks 06,07,08,09

Notable rocks 10

“Stonehenge”, Kepuharjo village, Yogyakarta

Seismometer at mount Merapi observation post Babadan

Sand mining / jeep tours in unnamed river, Yogyakarta

Sand mining in the east of bunker kaliadem

Diorama at Merapi museum, Yogyakarta

Rescue vehicle, New Selo village

New Selo village 01

New Selo village 02

Pasar Selo

Nursery near Pasar Selo

Huntap Pagerjurang 01 (village near mount Merapi built by the Indonesian government to house survivors following Merapi’s 2010 eruption)

Huntap Pagerjurang 02, 03

Huntap Pagerjurang 04, 05

Huntap Pagerjurang 06, 07

Huntap Pagerjurang 08,09

House near Surunen City

Jeep tour station, Kaliadem, Yogyakarta 01

Jeep tour station, Kaliadem, Yogyakarta 02, 03, 04, 05

The Lost World Castle, Kepuharjo Village, Yogyakarta

The Lost World Castle parking lot, Kepuharjo village, Yogyakarta

House of Petung’s headman (Lurah), Kepuharjo village, Yogyakarta (now a museum following its destruction during the 2010 eruption)

Merapi Merbabu hotels and resorts’ lobby, Yogyakarta

Interior, Huntap Pagerjurang village, Yogyakarta

Merapi view

Sand mining to the east of bunker Kaliadem

Mining in Petung, Kepuharjo village

Shelter for mining workers, Petung, Kepuharjo village

Shelter for mining workers, Selo, Boyolali, Central Java

shelter for mining workers Babadan, Magelang, Central Java

Shelter for mining workers, New Selo, Boyolali, Central Java

Utility pipes

Ketep pass, Magelang, Central Java

Merapi Museum

Merapi reforestation zone

Jeep tour, north-east of bunker Kaliadem

Mining workers relaxing, water storage for Merapi golf, Petung, Kepuharjo village, Yogyakarta

Family day out, view from batu alien, Kepuharjo village, Yogyakarta

Mount Merapi observation post Babadan

Section of mount Merapi, Merapi museum

Tobacco field in Selo, Boyolali, Central Java

Near alien rock

Sign left by miners (voluntary donations)

Plantations, New Selo village

Restaurants, Ketep pass, Magelang, Central Java

Kinahrejo village