Today, 10 Feb 2014 PVMBG (Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi) raised the alert status of Kelud mountain (Kelut, Gunung Kelud) to level III (of IV) from yellow alert (waspada) to orange alert (siaga). Gunung Kelud is a 1,731 m high stratovolcano located in East Java in Indonesia. Like many Indonesian volcanoes and others on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Kelud is known for large explosive eruptions up to VEI 5 throughout its history (Wikipedia), about 30 times since the 13th century. The latest eruptions were in 1901, 1919 (killing 5000), 1951, 1966, 1990 and in 2007/2008. An estimated 135,000 people live within a 10 km radius around the crater.
Gunung Kelud is known for its deadly and explosive eruptions. At least 1 VEI-5 is known and a further minimum of 6 VEI-4 eruptions have occured at the volcano. After the volcano killed more than 5000 people the volcano was rebuilt by humans to lower the risk of lahars and pyroclastic flows. This has been done twice and that meant that a very small crater lake existed as Gunung started to quietly extrude a lava dome inside the crater.
The lava dome quickly emptied out the remnant crater lake. Normally the crater lake would by now have flooded repeatedly and as such the active mitigation has been an un-precedented success this time around since no floods or lahars has happened.
As seen in the image above the amount of shallow volcanic earthquakes have increased dramatically during the last few days, a probable sign of new magma moving upwards in the system.
Keluds activity has sofar limited itself to the peacefull and very beautifull extrusion of the lavadome, but this is unlikely to continue if new magma is arriving from depth. And since the volcano has a highly explosive history it is likely that it will suffer an explosive eruption in the end. If that happens it is likely to be in the range of a VEI-3 or a VEI-4. Smaller is unlikely since the activity is centered at the central part of the crater, and bigger is also unlikely judging from the current level of activity.
CARL & CRYPHIA