Sunday, May 14, 2006

Some ignore evacuation orders, look for signs from Merapi

Despite government calls for an immediate evacuation, some people near the fuming Mount Merapi in Indonesia are not convinced.

A few are waiting for signs or supernatural signals that will supposedly tell them when the volcano will erupt.

Others know of the danger but are pressed to guard and tend to their animals and crops.

Glowing crater of Mt. Merapi at night.
Glowing crater of Mt. Merapi at night. AFP photo from Yahoo News.

Many Indonesians still hold on to animist beliefs regarding volcanoes and make offerings to the volcano spirits during full moons.

Insular Southeast Asia has hosted the greatest eruptions in the experience of modern humans to include the largest historical eruption at Mt. Tambora on Sumbawa in 1815, and the Mt. Toba eruption some 75,000 years ago that some suggest may have caused the last Ice Age.

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