Papandayan Volcano (Java, Indonesia) : August 20 update : residents feel higher temperatures near the crater

UPDATE 20/08 - 07:20 : A number of residents living and working around Mount Papandayan, told the volcanologists and the press that they have the noted that the temperature in the vicinity of the crater is hotter than the last couple of days.

Hot fumarole at the 2001 crater of Papandayan volcano- Image courtesy and copyright VolcanoDiscovery by Tom Pfeiffer

UPDATE 19/08-16:29 : Mount Papandayan remained also Friday on alert level 3.
The seismic activity was still strong and conditions are still volatile. The 2 km  No-Go area remains in place.
The area around the crater had 15 volcanic tremors on Friday. Although the seismic activity at the crater increased, people living around the slopes of Mount Papdayan are continuing their normal (mostly farming) activity. The tourists numbers visiting the area have dropped sharply. A lot of tourists (locals as well as foreign) have canceled their intended visit.

UPDATE 17/08-14:04 : PVMBG, The Indonesian official Volcano Alert service has maintained Level 3. The unofficial rumors from yesterday that the level would be downgraded to 2 have not yet
Meanwhile, the regency where Papandayan is located, has finished the preparations for an eventual evacuation, although they hope that they will never have to use it.  2 locations who can easily accept 25,000 people in total have been selected by the regency : Cisurupan and BayongbongBoth areas are located at least 10 km from  the volcano, a safe distance following specialists.  The capacity of the 2 evacuation locations is approx. 25,000. The 4 populated areas, each with approx. 6,000 inhabitants and located at 5 to 6 km from the summit are : Sirnajaya, Sirnagalih, Cipaganti, and Pangauban. The NO-GO area remains at the moment at 2 km.
Papandayan volcano has many different eruption risks involved and is seen (also based on his past) as a very dangerous volcano.

UPDATE 16/08-07:11 : The activity of Mount Papandayan further subsided on Tuesday. The official alert level is still at III but will soon be decreased to II if the current situation stabilizes.

Inside the Papandayan volcano crater - Panoramio image courtesy MatthijsWiggers - o

UPDATE 15/08-16:39 : PVMG has reported that the seismic activity of the Papandayan volcano subsided and that the villagers do not have to be worried for any kind of eruption soon. In a message a PVMG spokesman said : "The volcano is not showing the potential to threaten residents at the moment". The alert status may decrease soon.

UPDATE 15/08-07:22 : The volcanic activity is still building up. PVBMG has recorded an increasing volcanic and tectonic seismicity. The volcanic earthquakes are weak and local and have not been felt by the people living in the surrounding villages.  These people report however that the temperature in the villages has climbed considerably. The No-Go radius remains as earlier reported at 2 km.

UPDATE 14/08-10:26 UTC : The local government of Garut regency, West Java has started the planning of evacuation routes. The government does not want to improvise if the alert status would go up further to level IV (the alert level remains at III since yesterday).
Garut Regent HM Aceng Fikri, said that the villages of Citeureup, Bayongbong and Cisurupan located along the River Cibeureum,  will probably be exposed to a possible direct impact of volcanic activity.
The villages are located approx. 7 kilometers from the crater of Papandayan volcano. Additionally, the local government will be ready with all necessary relief aid and equipment if an evacuataion would be imminent.  As the Papandayan volcano has an explosive history, people are scared for destructive Lahars and pyroclastic clouds.
A lahar is a type of mudflow or debris flow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris, and water. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley. Lahar is an Indonesian word!
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Original article
On the scale of 0 to 4, alert level 3 is just below the eruption level.
Authorities have told villagers and tourists alike to stay at least 2 km from the active craters.
The volcano emits currently dangerous hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide gases.

Another danger may come from avalanches on the steep crater cliffs.  Eventual lava flows have a free flow out towards a surrounding valley with a number of villages (see 3-D Google map link below).

As far as we know today, no evacuation of the surrounding villages has been ordered yet.

Mount Papandayan is a very popular tourist destination.  Tourists can walk across the crater and view phenomena such as bubbling mud pools, steam vents and sulfur deposits.
It will be hard to keep them away.

Papandayan volcano last eruption was on November 11, 2002. No casualties were reported during this eruption. Dozens of houses were however destroyed by the lava within a 10 km radius from the crater.

After its first historical eruption in 1772, in which collapse of the NE flank produced a catastrophic debris avalanche that destroyed 40 villages and killed nearly 3000 persons, only small phreatic eruptions had occurred prior to an explosive eruption that began in November 2002.

Google satellite map of the volcano
3-D satellite image of the crater complex related to the surrounding valley

Papandayan volcano is monitored by six seismic stations (two permanent and four temporary).

Indonesia Papandayan volcano Picture taken by Hullie august 1997 -

Volcano description:
Papandayan 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. The broad 1.1-km-wide, flat-floored Alun-Alun crater truncates the summit of Papandayan, and Gunung Puntang to the north gives the volcano a twin-peaked appearance. Several episodes of collapse have given the volcano an irregular profile and produced debris avalanches that have impacted lowland areas beyond the volcano. A sulfur-encrusted fumarole field occupies historically active Kawah Mas ("Golden Crater"). (volcano description courtesy Smithsonian Institution)
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
Last Known Eruption: 2002
Summit Elevation: 2665 m     8,743 feet

The following tourist video dates from August 2010 and gives a good impression of the numerous steam vents in the wide crater. The person who is commenting the video speaks about an explosive 2006 eruption.  This should be the 2002 eruption.