In its latest weekly report, the Global Volcanism Network indicates that Merapi has become active again with several explosions on March 9th that caused ashfall in several villages. Between March 14th and 20th, dense gas plumes rose up to 600 metres above the summit. Seismicity was at normal levels. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 1-4).
The DarwinVAAC indicates that on March 27th an ash plume rose to an altitude of 9.8 km a.s.l. and drifted SE. The VAAC confirmed that an eruption occurred around 0630, confirmed by a news article. According to The Jakarta Post, the eruption triggered a movement of panic among the population. However, residents living on the slopes of Mount Perapi are asked to remain calm. The volcano is still safe for hikers, but climbers should not reach the summit crater. People are allowed to go as far as the Pasar Bubrah area, some 200 metres from the peak of the volcano.
Source: C. Grandpey Blog – Photo: Merapi in 2010