(5/2/2009) Officials Close Rinjani Volcano to Trekkers While Keeping a Close Eye on Developing Seismic Situation on nearby Barujari.
The Head of the Mining and Energy Service for Nusa Tenggara Barat, Heryadi Rachmat, confirmed that Saturday’s eruption took place at 3:50 p.m. local time, with a second and third explosion coming at intervals of five minutes.
Observers at the scene report that a small crater has emerged on the eastern face of the mountain.
In connection with the eruption, volcanic ash clouds have been measure to an altitude of 8,000 meters causing local aircraft to steer well clear of the mountain. A thin layer of volcanic ash blanketed Senaru village in the regency of North Lombok, located on the foothills of the volcano.
Rachmat, accompanied by government geologists and volcanologists confirmed to the press that seismographic equipment was now being moved in closer proximity to the volcano to monitor future developments.
Experts report that the current state of the volcano pose no threat to local populations. Barujari volcano when it last erupted in 2004 spewed lava and volcanic dust, but did not cause injury or loss of life.
The second tallest volcano in Indonesia, local authorities have temporarily closed the mountain to trekkers.