Volcano eruptions have an impact on people and wildlife for several miles. Satellite imagery can be used to monitor its impact and predict future risk.

Mt Merapi is a stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and the special region of Yogyakarta in Indonesia.  It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and erupted twice on Sunday, June 21, 2020. The eruption started at 9:13 AM local time and the second eruption happened at 9:27 AM local time. The two eruptions lasted at around 7 minutes based on local reports and sent a cloud of grey ash at around 6000 meters into the sky.

Satellite Image of Mount Merapi from spaceMount Merapi Volcano Eruption satellite imagery

A comparison between May 24, 2020 and June 21, 2020 of the Merapi Volcano in Indonesia

On Alert since 2018

The Volcano is active and locals have been on alert since 2018.  It last erupted on April 10, 2020 at 9:10 AM where ash rose as high as 3,000 meters above the summit. 

Mt. Merapi’s deadly history

Mt Merapi has erupted many times throughout history. The most notable eruptions were:

  • In 2010, it killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of  280,000 residents from surrounding areas
  • In 1930, it killed 1300 people

Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands and inlets and is home to nearly 130 active volcanoes.

Mt Merapi Volcano Eruption

Mt Merapi Eruption on April 10, 2020 which sent a column of grey ash 3000 meters above the summit.

Since then, a 3 kilometre exclusion zone around the main crater of Merapi volcano is in place by the authorities to prevent people coming inside the danger zone of the volcano.

Forest Fire Risk Analysis

What else can Satellite Imagery do?

Satellite Imagery is great for more than just seeing the impact of volcano eruptions. Take a look at how smart firefighters are using up-to-date satellite imagery to assess and react to forest fire risk.

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Forest Fire Risk Analysis