Yogyakarta is back to usual. There is the pile of ash on the back step, swept up from the sheets of rain pounding down every other day, sitting there as proof that Merapi did violently erupt. But life is just as busy and just as chaotic and just as santai, santé, relaxed as before spending two weeks in Jakarta.
Merapi is still erupting, but with less intensity. I understand that it could erupt continuously for the next 3-5 months! And there are still those who are pengungsi, still living in the camps, maybe because they don’ t have a house anymore. The danger zone is still enforced for certain areas that are more vulnerable to pyroclastic heat clouds, but slowly people are moving back to their (charred) homes.
I went ‘cross-country cycling’ with my friend Andre the other day, and we saw further evidence of Merapi’s fury. The cold lava flows, which clogged the rivers, caused massive, sudden flooding, and new riverbanks were carved out of the earth, and there is a hard chunks of rock and silt and lava still on the bridge.
The aftermath is also shown in sheer numbers: Merapi has claimed over 300 lives.
And now another volcano, Mt. Bromo, which is further east near Malang, Java, is brewing up a storm. Mount Bromo’s activity has been set to awas, danger. I’m still shaking my head, understanding this whole volcano thing. It’s real, alright, and the aftermath is even worse.