Mount Papandayan first erupted in 1772 but is much more active today

Randi MannDigital Reporter

On this day in weather history, Mount Papandayan erupted for the first time.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Tuesday, August 11, 1772, Mount Papandayan erupted for the first time, killing thousands and causing widespread damage. Mount Papanadayan is located in Garut Regency, in West Java, Indonesia. It's a stratovolcano, which means it's conical made from many layers of hardened lava and tephra.

Papanadyan reaches a 2,666 m elevation, making it a "ribu" mountain. Ribu is Indonesian for "thousand," meaning that the mountain reaches at least 1,000 metres.

At Papanadayan's summit, there are four large craters. In 1772, the eruption caused the northeast flank to collapse. The eruption produced volcanic debris that killed around 3,000 people as it destroyed approximately 40 villages.

Indonesia - Papandayan 4

"Indonesia Papandayan volcano Picture taken by Hullie August 1997." Courtesy of Hullie/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.5

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The explosion truncated the volcano, giving it two peaks, one called Papandayan and the other Mount Puntang.

Since that event, the volcano has only had small eruptions until Nov. 2002. More recently, the volcano has been quite active. On Aug. 13, 2011, Papanadayan's status was elevated from Level II, "Vigilant" to Level III, "Alert."

On Friday, Sep. 2, 2011, there were several volcanic earthquakes. According to officials, if the mountain erupted, there are around 20 villages and 11,500 people at risk.

Mt Papandayan is popular among tourists. Visitors can view sites like Papandayan, a bubbling yellow crater. The attraction is rate number 1 of 20 things to do in Garut.

KITLV - 75176 - Kurkdjian, Fotograaf George P. Lewis, aldaar werkzaam - Sourabaya, Java - Volcano Gunung Papandayan, West Java - circa 1920.tif

"George P. Lewis: Fumaroles at Mount Papandayan, 1920." Courtesy of Wikipedia

To learn more about the first Mount Papandayan eruption, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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