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(May 15th, 2024)

JAKARTA. The toll of victims and destruction is getting worse and worse, caused by the flow of “cold lava” which, descending from the slopes of the Merapi volcano “mountain of fire”, destroys everything in its path.

In 4 districts of the island of Sumatra, the most western of the Indonesian archipelago, there were at least 50 dead, then missing and injured.

Alongside the people, houses, mosques and various infrastructures, as well as cultivated fields, disappeared.

The tropical rains don’t stop falling and therefore the flows continue, also because the volcano is still erupting for months now.



“Cold lava” is a mixture of material and pebbles that flows down the slopes of a volcano.

Transported by the rain, it has a temperature between 0 and 100 degrees. It usually remains below 50°.

The phenomenon is common in Indonesia, where the population lives in close contact with several active volcanoes which often erupt.



Among the causes of this cataclysm is deforestation, practiced by farmers to make room for oil palm plantations, a source of income for many of them.

Furthermore, the practice of burning parts of the forest to get ash, considered a good fertilizer, is widespread.

Climate change contributes to making meteorological events more disruptive, producing these devastations.




The Republic of Indonesia, distributed over a chain of thousands of islands between Asia and Australia, occupies a total area of 1.9 million square kilometres. and is populated by 275.7 million people.

Many, around 210 million, are Muslims, but there are significant minorities of Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and other, including traditional faiths.

More than 300 local languages are spoken.



Sophisticated kingdoms existed before the arrival of the Dutch, who colonized these islands between the 17th and 20th centuries.

In 1942 the Japanese occupied it: in 1945 independence was proclaimed, which Amsterdam only recognized in 1949.

The first President of the Republic was Mr. Sukarno (1901 – 1970) who governed from independence until 1967 when he handed over power to Gen. Suharto (1921 – 2008)

Repressed the 1965-66 uprising which cost the lives of thousands of people, he imposed a thirty-year long dictatorship until 1998.

Since then, elections is held every five years at various levels and a fragile democracy is established, but must periodically face both secessionist movement and armed groups of Islamic fundamentalists who would impose themselves at the expense of other religious groups.
In economy, the country is so dynamic in South East Asia:
it produces, petroleum and other commodities: gets a fairly developed industrial sector and attracts many tourists.


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