Volcanic Villages on Merapi

Volcanic Villages on Merapi | Photo Credit: John Stanmeyer, National Geographic (http://bit.ly/dBcYEZ)
Mount Merapi has been making the news this week with its major eruptions on Tuesday and Thursday that have killed 34 people and displaced tens of thousand others. I was looking at this album of photos on the volcanic eruptions when this aerial shot of the volcanic village on Mount Merapi really struck me. I was amazed by the sheer number of villages that were built on the mountain. To quote:

“Carving its slopes with steppes, farmers have set up croplands and villages as far up Mount Merapi’s ridges as possible. The attraction of Merapi’s rich volcanic soils is apparently greater than the threat of burning lava, toxic gas, or smothering mud from one of the word’s most active and dangerous volcanoes.

Worldwide, volcanic soils cover only one percent of Earth’s land but feed about 10 percent of all people, according to National Geographic magazine.”

If you’re keen to read more about the volcano, here‘s a good article on Mbah Marijan, the Gatekeeper of Mount Merapi. He has since passed away in the recent eruptions.
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