Indonesian volcano could erupt 'any second' - but tour guides won't stop taking visitors

The tour guides on an active volcano in Indonesia say an eruption like that of Whakaari/ White Island could happen "any second".

Tangkuban is a volcano in Bandung Indonesia, topped with three craters. It attracts thousands of visitors daily.

And it could erupt at any moment, according to experts.

In July 2019, Tangkuban did erupt, sending clouds of ash spewing over the mountain. Tourists and residents fled in terror and video showed roads covered in debris. 

Tangkuban during it's July eruption.
Tangkuban during it's July eruption. Photo credit: Indonesia National Disaster Management

A week after the terrifying eruption, the site was reopened to the public. 

In September the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) raised the alert for Tangkuban to "code orange" which means an eruption is "imminent or suspected".

This was downgraded the following month - but after the White Island eruption, and the July eruption of Tangkuban, tour guides on the island are afraid.

"What happened on White Island can happen on Tangkuban any second," one tour guide told under the condition of anonymity.

"It's always been my fear that something like this will happen here," he continued.

Despite the fear of eruption, Indonesian locals continue to lead tours.

"This is what the tourists come to see and that helps pay the bills for many Indonesians."

Another guide said money is why the locals remain on the mountain.

"This is a poor country and the number one priority is to make the money for the family," he said.

Tour companies make sure tourists sign a waiver stating they are aware of the risk, but the guide says the danger is not made clear.

"I don't think any of them really believe anything is going to happen, but it does and it has."


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