Volcano alert raised in Indonesia, tourist sites closed

Volcano alert raised in Indonesia, tourist sites closed
White ash clouds rise from the crater of Mount Bromo in Probolinggo, East Java, on Friday. Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS) has temporarily banned tourists from visiting Mt. Bromo as the volcano's warning status level has been raised to Alert 3.
PHOTO: Jakarta Post/ANN

The status of Mount Bromo, which is located on the border of Probolinggo, Pasuruan, Lumajang and Malang regencies in East Java, has been raised from Alert 2 to Alert 3, resulting in the closure of tourist sites since Friday at 2 p.m.

According to Mt. Bromo Volcanic Monitoring Post (PPGA) head M. Syafii, Mt. Bromo's volcanic activity had increased in recent days. Meanwhile, earth tremors had increased since Thursday night.

"The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center [PVMBG] then raised the status today," Syafii said as quoted by Antara news agency on Friday.

Visually, Syafii said, Mt. Bromo was producing white ash clouds with moderate thickness and low pressure, rising from the west to the southwest at a height of 50 to 150 meters.

Due to the increased alert status, Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS) banned tourists from visiting Mt. Bromo sites and restricted people's activities to a safe distance of 2.5 kilometers away from the volcano.

"We closed the calderas such as Bromo crater, Pasir Berbisik and the savanna to all tourist activities because Mt. Bromo's status was raised to Alert 3," said TNBTS head Ayu Dewi Utari.

However, Ayu said that people could still enjoy the beauty of sunrise from Mt. Penanjakan, Setya Peak and Cinta Peak, which were still included within the TNBTS area.

"Entry to Mt. Pananjakan is open from Wonokitri, Pasuruan, while the entrances from Malang and Probolinggo are closed as the trail crosses the whispering sand," Ayu added.

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