Mount Ijen is an active volcano that has a crater lake. Located in East Java. The Ijen eruption recorded in history was in the form of phreatic eruptions originating from the main crater. The last phreatic eruption occurred in 1999. Ijen volcanic activity is generally characterized by gusts of thin white crater smoke, weak pressure with a height ranging from 50-200 meters from the peak.

Based on information from the residents of Sempol, on March 21, 2018, at 21:00 WIB, in the village of Watucapil sulfur gas poisoning took place which struck 27 residents and the victims were treated at the Ijen Local Health Center, Bondowoso. Coordination with BKSDA Region III Jember as tourism manager for Kawah Ijen, sulfur miners, Head of Ijen Health Center, Ijen Police Station and Bondowoso Military District Command. The agreement with the head of the Ijen BKSDA Resort to temporarily close the climb towards the Ijen peak / crater from Paltuding.

Visual Report

On March 21-22 2018, the weather is visually clear to cloudy, weak winds to the southeast and south side. Air temperature 18 – 28° C. Volcano is clearly visible until it is covered in fog. White crater smoke with medium to thick intensity is about 100-200 meters from the peak. The seismicity was recorded 2 times the deep volcanic earthquake (VA). 19 times Shallow Volcanic earthquakes (VB). 1 time the earthquake blows (HB). 3 times the Far Tectonic (TJ) earthquake. 1 Tremor (TR) earthquake. Anomalies have changed the number of Shallow Volcanic Earthquakes (VB) on February 24 – March 2, 2018, March 10-11 2018 and March 18-21 2018.

Three gas anomalies were detected in the period January – March 2018, namely: January 10, 2018 at 12:56 WIB where CO2 gas was around 2563 ppmv, SO2 3.6 ppmv, and H2S 2.4 ppmv; on February 19, 2018 at 1:26 p.m. WIB, CO2 gas was detected reaching 5139 ppmv, SO2 146 ppmv, and H2S 23 ppmv; and on March 21, 2018 at 19:24 WIB, CO2 gas reached 5140 ppmv, SO2 was not measured (possibly exceeding the measuring capacity of the sensor), and H2S 175.8 ppmv. This anomaly is interpreted as the outburst of gas in crater lakes that occurs due to over pressure, especially by the continuous accumulation of CO2 gas and H2S gas in the crater lake.

Potential Threats

Potential danger of eruption Mount Ijen form of threats of toxic gas flow, pyroclastic clouds, mud, lava flows, ash falls and lava eruptions pouring in a radius of 1.5 km from the center of the eruption. The pyroclastic flows, lava eruptions, lava rain, heavy ash rain, the possibility of avalanches of volcanic debris and hurl incandescent rocks within a radius of 6 km from the center of the eruption. Rain pounded lava flows, the possible expansion of the hot clouds or lava eruptions, ash dense, likely to be exposed to a burst of incandescent rock within a radius of 8 km from the center of the eruption.

Recent Activity

After the gas blowout on March 21, 2018, there was no visual change in smoke height, smoke color, smoke pressure, and crater water color. Shallow Volcanic Earthquake (VB) until March 22, 2018, at 16.00 WIB seismographs recorded 14 volcanic earthquakes and 1 blowing earthquake. This condition shows that Mount Ijen’s seismicity is still recorded above the daily average. Based on the results of visual monitoring, seismicity and gas concentration, the level of activity of Mount Ijen is still Level I (Normal).

Depend with the incident, then:

  • Citizen and visitors / tourists / climbers / miners are not allowed to approach the edge of the crater or approach the bottom of the crater at the top of Ijen Crater Volcano and may not stay in the Ijen Crater Volcano area.
  • People / visitors / tourists do not need to panic with the phenomenon of the emergence of toxic gases, and do not believe in any issues related to the situation at Mount Ijen whose source is unclear.
  • People / visitors / tourists to keep following the instructions from the Mount Ijen tourism manager (Natural Resources Conservation Center).
  • Gunung Ijen tourism manager (Natural Resources Conservation Center) should make a warning board “Beware of Toxic Gas Hazard” starting from Paltuding to Ijen crater.
  • If the smell of sulfur gas is stung/thick, then the citizen/visitors/tourists must use a mask to covering the breathing apparatus. For the short term / emergency you can use a wet cloth as a cover for your breathing apparatus (nose / mouth).
  • The manager of Mount Ijen tourism (Natural Resources Conservation Center) is expected to always coordinate with Mount Ijen Observation Post in Licin, Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center, and Bandung Geological Agency directly or by telephone (022) 7272606.

Source: Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation, Geological Agency, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. 22 March 2018 18:56 WIB, Ir. Kasbani, M.Sc.


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