Wiryono Raharjo

Mount Merapi has been regarded as the most active volcano among the 147 volcanoes in Indonesia. Rises 2930 meters above sea level, this stratovolcano is located 28 kilometers north of Yogyakarta City. It has been regularly erupted since 16th century, but the 2010 eruption was seen as the biggest in the past 200 years. Both author’s work place (Universitas Islam Indonesia) and residence are located within 20 kilometers radius from the crater, in which case are considered safe because the danger zone during regular eruption is 7 kilometers radius. However, when the intensity of eruption reached its peak in late October 2010, the government issued a warning which told that areas within 20 kilometers radius from the crater must be vacated. As a result, author and the whole residents of villages within such radius must find temporary shelters, ranging from government-assisted facilities, such as sports and community halls, to residences of extended families and hotels. Universitas Islam Indonesia’s main campus must also be vacated as well. This paper will describe a personal account of author experience from being a member of university’s rescue team to being a refugee who had to find temporary shelter for the family, while maintaining the academic activities during the three weeks warning period. The paper also looks at the current situation, over 5 years after the deadly 2010 eruption, to see the continuity and change of the built environment, which may reflect people’s attitude towards the danger of Mount Merapi eruption.