Apparently, being burned to a crisp or buried forever under lave floes and mountains of ash is appealing to the inhabitants of Mount Merapi. Word has it that at the time of this writing, 11:00 am Sunday morning, more than half of the 30,000 residents in grave danger in the flash zone surrounding the very active Indonesian volcano have refused to leave.
Citing the potential theft of their livestock by burglars, many residents say that they will stay put. If there was a great deal of uncertainty as to whether this volcano was preparing for a major event, I could see the logic. But as it stands, experts say that Merapi could blow at any time, and only those with a death wish would ignore the ominous signs that the mountain is now exhibiting.
While I believe that people should indeed have the choice whether to evacuate, I wonder if there will be riots after the fact because ‘the government failed to act.’ We all know that everything is either the responsibility or the fault of the government. We have had that concept embedded into our psyches and I’ll be darned if I’m going to let that change now.
There is word that many residents are awaiting the word of the ‘keyholder.’ While this mystic sounds like something out of a Matrix movie, the locals believe that there is a supernatural kingdom on top of Mount Merapi and that 79 year old Maridjan will receive a message from the volcano when it is time to begin screaming and running down the road with arms flailing. It is said that this message may come in a dream.
With the pace of technology, I think that message may come in something a little faster, perhaps a pyroclastic cloud. If that is the case, the inhabitants will receive the message at the same time as Maridjan.
I am sure that there will be a huge outpouring of sympathy once this event has concluded. Many will lament the needless loss of life, including women and children. Perhaps we should consider now that not everybody has reached our level of knowledge, and are happy to live within the belief system that they are living in.
If Mount Merapi suddenly explodes in the next few days, countless women, men, and children will perish. These people have been told of the danger, and simply choose to ignore the facts. That is the entire story. If they die, it is because they chose not to heed the warnings that were given in ample time.
Kind of like a bunch of smokers, aren’t they?
Indonesia has an amazing 500 volcanoes, 129 of which are currently active.