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Ijen Crater and Mt. Bromo Tour

Ijen

The Ijen volcano complex is a group of composite volcanoes located on the border between Banyuwangi Regency and Bondowoso Regency of East Java, Indonesia. It is inside a larger caldera Ijen, which is about 20 kilometres wide. The Gunung Merapi stratovolcano is the highest point of that complex. The name "Gunung Merapi" means "mountain of fire" in the Indonesian language (api being "fire"); Mount Merapi in central Java and Marapi in Sumatra have the same etymology.
West of Gunung Merapi is the Ijen volcano, which has a one-kilometre-wide turquoise-coloured acidic crater lake. The lake is the site of a labour-intensive sulphur mining operation, in which sulphur-laden baskets are carried by hand from the crater floor. Many other post-caldera cones and craters are located within the caldera or along its rim. The largest concentration of post-caldera cones run east-west across the southern side of the caldera. The active crater at Kawah Ijen has a diameter of 722 metres (2,369 ft.) and a surface area of 0.41 square kilometres (0.16 sq. mi). It is 200 metres (660 ft.) deep and has a volume of 36 cubic hectometres (29,000-acre ft.).
The lake is recognised as the largest highly acidic crater lake in the world. It is also a source for the river Banyupahit, resulting in highly acidic and metal-enriched river water which has a significant detrimental effect on the downstream river ecosystem. On July 2008, explorer George Kourounis took a small rubber boat out onto the acid lake to measure its acidity, the pH of the water in the lake's edges was measured to be 0.5 and in the middle of the lake 0.13 due to high sulphuric acid concentration

Blue Fire Crater, since National Geographic mentioned the electric-blue flame of Ijen, tourist numbers increased. The phenomenon has occurred for a long time, but beforehand there was no midnight hiking. A two-hour hike is required to reach the rim of the crater, followed by a 45-minute hike down to the bank of the crater. The blue fire is ignited sulphuric gas, which emerges from cracks at temperatures up to 600 °C (1,112 °F). The flames can be up to five meters (16 feet) high; some of the gas condenses to liquid and is still ignited. It is the largest blue flame area in the world and local people refer to it as 'Blue Fire'.

Sulphur Mining at Ijen, an active vent at the edge of the lake is a source of elemental sulphur, and supports a mining operation. Escaping volcanic gases are channelled through a network of ceramic pipes, resulting in condensation of molten sulphur. The sulphur, which is deep red in colour when molten, pours slowly from the ends of these pipes and pools on the ground, turning bright yellow as it cools. The miners break the cooled material into large pieces and carry it away in baskets. Miners carry loads ranging from 75 to 90 kilograms (165 to 198 lb), up 300 metres (980 ft.) to the crater rim, with a gradient of 45 to 60 degrees and then 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) down the mountain for weighing. Most miners make this journey twice a day. A nearby sulphur refinery pays the miners by the weight of sulphur transported. The miners often receive insufficient protection while working around the volcano and complain of numerous respiratory afflictions. There are 200 miners, who extract 14 tons per day – about 20% of the continuous daily deposit.

Ijen Crater
Sulphur Mining at Ijen

Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo, is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god. It is a major pilgrimage centre for Hindus in Indonesia, particularly Tenggerese Hindus. They make pilgrimage during the Yadnya Kasada. Mount Bromo located in the middle of a plain called the "Sea of Sand" (Javanese: Segara Wedi or Indonesian: Lautan Pasir), a protected nature reserve since 1919. The typical way to visit Mount Bromo is from the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. From there it is possible to walk to the volcano in about 45 minutes, but it is also possible to take an organised jeep tour, which includes a stop at the viewpoint on Mount Penanjakan (2,770 m or 9,088 ft.). The viewpoint on Mount Penanjakan can also be reached on foot in about two hours. Depending on the degree of volcanic activity, the Indonesian Centre for Volcanology and Disaster Hazard Mitigation sometimes issues warnings against visiting Mount Bromo.

Activity

2004 eruptions, Mount Bromo eruptive episode led to the death of two people who had been hit by rocks from the explosion.

2010 eruptions, on Tuesday, 23 November 2010, 16.30 WIB (Western Indonesian Time), the Indonesian Centre of Volcanology and Geology Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) confirmed the activity status of Mount Bromo at "alert" due to increasing tremor activity and shallow volcanic earthquakes at the mountain. Concerns were raised that a volcanic eruption might be likely to occur. As a precaution local residents and tourists were instructed to remain clear of an area within a radius of three kilometres from the caldera and refugee encampments were erected. The area surrounding the Teggera caldera of Bromo remained off-limits for visitors throughout the remainder of 2010.

2011 eruptions, on 22January 2011 at 5:30 am (Bromo volcano crater itself is not visible). The Tengger Caldera was still active in late January 2011, the activity being characterised by fluctuating ongoing eruptions. On 23 January 2011 the Indonesian Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM; Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi) reported that since 19 December 2010 volcanic ash and incandescent material had been thrown up by eruptive activity resulting in a heavy rain of material that fell around the crater. Continuous eruptions on 21 January caused a thin ash fall mainly in the village areas of Ngadirejo and Sukapura Wonokerto in Probolinggo district. The impact of a heavy rain of volcanic ash from eruptions since 19 December 2010 resulted in disruption of normal activities. By early 2011 concerns were being raised about the effect upon the local economy and the potential for long-term environmental and health problems amongst the residents in the locality surrounding Mount Bromo. Due to high seasonal rainfall in January 2011 the potential for lahar and lava flow was raised due to the deposits of volcanic ash, sand and other ejected material that had built up. Seismic activity was dominated by tremor vibration and reports of visual intensity and sounds of eruption continued to be reported from the mountain monitoring facility, Bromo Observation Post. People living on the banks of the Perahu Ravine, Nganten Ravine and Sukapura River were alerted to the possibility of lava flows, especially when it was raining heavily in the area around Cemorolawang, Ngadisari and Ngadirejo. Eruptions and volcanic tremors were reported on 21 January and 22 January with activity subsiding on 23 January 2011. On 23 January 2011 at 6:00 am the alert status at Mount Bromo remained at Level III. On 23 January 2011 an exclusion zone was recommended for communities living around Mount Bromo. Tourists and hikers were advised to not come within a radius of 2 km from the active crater. CVGHM stated that they expected warning signs to be installed stating the limit radius of 2 km from the crater. Operational caution was recommended for flights into and leaving Juanda International Airport in Surabaya. CVGHM recommended the establishment of public areas for the provision of face masks and eye protection. CVGHM also issued a warning to residents to be cautious of ash build up on roofs and other places that may give cause for collapse under the burden of ash.

2015 eruption, Mount Bromo showed signs of increasing activity beginning in 4th Dec 2015, when the amount of smoke coming out of the crater intensified. By late November Mount Bromo began to eject ashes into the air. Indonesian Volcano Monitoring Bureau (PVBMG) issued a warning that forbade people from climbing Mount Bromo. Later the warning was extended into a 1 km exclusion zone, before eventually extended into wider range which virtually barred visitors from coming down into the caldera floor, which is popularly known as Sand sea.

Culture

On the fourteenth day of the Hindu festival of Yadnya Kasada, the Tenggerese people of Probolinggo, East Java, travel up the mountain in order to make offerings of fruit, rice, vegetables, flowers and sacrifices of livestock to the mountain gods by throwing them into the caldera of the volcano. The origin of the ritual lies in the 15th century legend. On the sand plain, locally called Segara Wedi (lit. sand ocean), sits a Hindu temple called Pura Luhur Poten. The temple holds a significant importance to the Tenggerese scattered across the mountain villages, such as Ngadisari, Wonokitri, Ngadas, Argosari, Ranu Prani, Ledok Ombo and Wonokerso. The temple organises the annual Yadnya Kasada ceremony which lasts for about one month. The major difference between this temple and Balinese ones are the type of stones and building materials. Pura Luhur Poten uses natural black stones from volcanoes nearby, while Balinese temples are mostly made from red bricks. Inside this pura, there are several buildings and enclosures aligned in a mandala zone composition.

Mount Bromo
Mount Bromo

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