EECentre

Additional Resource

UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit Mission Report – 2006 Indonesia Mud Volcano Eruption

Mission Report

This mission report describes the findings of a team deployed by the UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit to identify and assess the risks associated with the potential eruption of the Mt. Merapi volcano following the Yogyakarta earthquake.

The UN team responding to the Yogyakarta earthquake (Indonesia 2005) raised concerns about the potential eruption of the Mt. Merapi Volcano, which was near the earthquake’s epicentre and had showed signs of intensified activity. As a result, the UN country team requested that the JEU explore options to deploy experts to identify and assess these risks. The Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) of the European Commission had already deployed 4 Italian volcanologists for this purpose. Through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, it was agreed that the volcanologists would extend their stay and support the work of the UN. This practical cooperation between the MIC and the JEU provided an example for future joint activities.

After the eruption of the volcano in May 2006, a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team was deployed with environmental experts from Switzerland and the Netherlands to provide technical assistance. The objective was to determine the toxicity of the mud and recommend remediation measures. The experts concluded that the impact on human health and the environment was low due to containment of the mud in above-ground basins. The basins, however, were not considered a sustainable solution. It was recommended to develop a medium-term strategy for the management of the mud.

Consult the mission report here.

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