On the Black Slope of Mt Merapi

Indonesia > Java > Mt Merapi

Kaliedam & Kinahrejo, 05 February 2011

In late October and early November, 2010, Mt Merapi erupted, sending extremely hot pyroclastic flows racing down the southern slope of the 2968-metre volcano, decimating everything in their paths.

This is my video of what was once the fertile, green villages of Kinahrejo and Kaliadem, shot on 05/02/2011, 3 months after the tragedy. It was indeed a surreal and humbling experience standing on the soil blackened with fine black sand ejected from the bowels of the earth by the forceful volcano. What a very horrifying event it must have been that 26/10/2010 afternoon when the first super-hot pyroclastic flow hit.

To get to the place, we travelled northwards from Jogjakarta towards Mt Merapi, through a web of narrow roads, past countless villages, fertile ricefields and farms. We went all the way to within 4.5km of the volcano’s summit, at the spot marked with the red ‘x’ below. It’s in the village of Kinahrejo.


This Google Earth image of the area before the disaster shows how lush the place was. The small river to the left is now a huge gorge in the video above, carved out by the pyroclastics.


Of course, the Big Picture has a memorable collection of pictures too.


Some of my snapshots.

What's left of the villages of Kinahrejo & Kaliedam.

Remnants of Kaliedam.


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