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Volcanic Activity Triggers Lake Kelimutu Color Change, Visitors Requested to Keep Distance

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Jakarta, IO – The water of Kelimutu Lake in Ende, East Nusa Tenggara, changed color recently. “The main factor of the color change is definitely volcanic activity,” stated Irwan Ka Uman, Head of the Kelimutu Volcano Observation Post, per Kompas, Tuesday (9/7). “Therefore, we request that visitors keep their distance from the lake and surrounding areas for an unspecified period of time.”

Lake Kelimutu is a group of three crater lakes in Mount Kelimutu, a strato-type volcano. They are called Tiwu Ata Polo (Crater I), Tiwu Ko’ofai Nuwamuri (Crater II), and Tiwu Ata Bupu (Crater III) respectively. The change occurred in Crater I. Initially a greenish blue when observed on 14th of May, it gradually turned blackish brown since May 22.

Sulphur is detected to have collected on the surface of the lakes, concentrating on the center part, especially in Crater II. Iran stated that this collection of sulphur indicates in rise of magmatic fluids to the lakes’ surfaces. “The distribution of sulphur residue on the surface of the water in the Crater II lake also shows an activity of the magmatic-hydrothermal sistem located underneath,” he reports.

Read: Massive Landslide Strikes Illegal Gold Mine In Gorontalo, Resulting In Multiple Deaths

Mount Kelimutu is currently still at the Alert level II status. Potential hazards include phreatic and magmatic eruptions, which will generate a spewing of materials within a 250 meter radius. “Therefore, we recommend that the public or visitors refrain from approaching the craters up to a 250 meter radius from its edge,” Iran warns.

The Office of the Kelimutu National Park further imposes a restriction of the number of visitors, as well as make further adjustments according to the observed levels of volcanic activity to ensure everyone’s safety. Visitors must wear filter masks, bring drinking water, and strictly observe the revised visitation hours of between 6am and 12pm WITA. (bp)

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