Merapi, Mount

views updated

Mount Merapi (mərä´pē) [Indonesian=mountain of fire], volcano, 9,551 ft (2,911 m) high, central Java, Indonesia, 20 mi (32 km) NNE of Yogyakarta. It is the most active of Indonesia's many volcanoes, but most of its eruptions are relatively small. In 1006, however, its eruption caused devastation throughout central Java and destroyed a Hindu kingdom on the island; its most devastating recent eruption, in 1930, destroyed a number of villages and killed some 1,300 people. Merapi's eruptions are often accompanied by pryoclastic flows; these rapidly descending clouds of scalding gas, pumice, and ash were responsible for some 60 deaths in 1994 and more 300 deaths in 2010. Local people are said to revere Merapi as a representation of Hinduism's holy Mt. Meru or as the dwelling place of ancient protective spirits.