On Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 4am, local time, the Indonesian Volcanology Center has raised the alert from level II to Level III on Papandayan Mountain in West Java. The Center has set four levels increasing intensity of volcanic activity with level I for the lowest and level IV for the highest (alert level code chart).
The 2665 m (8,743 ft) Papandayan mountain is a complex stratovolcano with four large summit craters, the youngest of which was breached to the NE by collapse during a brief eruption in 1772 and contains active fumarole fields. Geographically, it’s located at the position of 7.32°S / 107.73°E. The closest major cities are Garut and Bandung. It began spewing gas on its three crater of Welirang, Manuk and Baladagama along with intense volcanic tremor and increase of rate of deformation for the last few days.
After its first historical eruption in 1772, in which collapse of the NE flank and produced a catastrophic debris avalanche that destroyed 40 villages and killed nearly 3000 persons, only small phreatic eruptions had occurred (1923, 1942) prior to an explosive eruption that began in November 2002.
Figure caption: Papandayan eruption in 2002 (source).