Kabanjahe, Indonesia (AFP) Sept 7, 2010
An Indonesian volcano that returned to life after four centuries of inactivity threw an ash cloud thousands of metres into the air Tuesday in its most most violent eruption yet.
Witnesses said lava, rock, ash and gas shot into the sky from the crater of 2,460-metre (8,000 feet) Mount Sinabung in northern Sumatra shortly after midnight.
The eruption lasted five minutes and was felt about eight kilometres (five miles) away.
"Its latest eruption was double the previous outburst and we recorded a tower of ash reaching 5,000 metres," government volcanologist Agus Budianto told AFP.
More than 20,000 people have fled their homes since the volcano first erupted late August and remain in emergency shelters.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited the area on Monday and asked displaced people to be patient.
"Sinabung is very active with a series of eruptions. For your safety please stay in the shelter for the time being.... I hope it will not last very long," he said.
With each new eruption, concern grows for those villagers who have stayed on the mountain to guard their homes or tend to their crops.
Anto Sembiring, 37, said his family had gone to a shelter but he had stayed to take care of their house, which is inside a six-kilometre exclusion zone around the mountain.
"I'm worried about my future. The volcano seems unwilling to stay calm," he told AFP.
"My children haven't gone to school for almost two weeks and they have to stay in the crowded shelter in unhealthy conditions."
Volcanologists said Sinabung's long dormant period had made it highly unpredictable.
The sprawling Indonesian archipelago has 69 active volcanoes with histories of eruptions and straddles major seismic fault-lines in a region known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire".
Four people disappeared last month after the 1,784-metre Mount Karangetang erupted on the island of Siau, North Sulawesi province.
Volcanoes have killed scores of thousands of Indonesians over the past 200 years, including more than 70,000 in the 1815 eruption of Mount Tomboro on the island of Sumbawa.
Mount Sinabung is near Lake Toba, a 100-kilometre long volcanic crater that some archaeologists believe was the site of an eruption that almost wiped out the human race when it erupted 69,000-77,000 years ago.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Kabanjahe, Indonesia (AFP) Aug 31, 2010
Thousands of Indonesians spent a third day in shelters Tuesday as a volcano threatened a devastating eruption on Sumatra island, officials said. Governent volcanologists said 2,460-metre (8,000-foot) Mount Sinabung was not spewing as much ash and smoke into the atmosphere as it had for the first two days but it was still extremely dangerous. The mountain erupted for the first time in 400 ... read more
Saving flood-hit Pakistan has global implications: UNDP|
Eerie silence as army takes charge in NZ quake zone
Stalled funding hits Pakistan aid effort: UN
Crime, drugs threaten Haiti election: UN report
ISRO To Launch Two More Satellites By December
Bacteria could make self-healing concrete
Scientists create 'smarter' materials
Sony unveils new e-readers, adds touchscreen to all models
Contamination leaves 1.2 million Malaysians without water
Kazakh leader calls for diverting Siberian rivers south
Access to clean water down due to urbanisation: UN
Pollution and worsening quality focus of World Water Week
Climate: New study slashes estimate of icecap loss
Fuel tanker runs aground in Canadian Arctic: coast guard
Researchers Find A 'great Fizz' Of Carbon Dioxide At The End Of The Last Ice Age
Why Fish Don't Freeze In The Arctic Ocean
Erratic global weather threatens food security: experts
Walker's World: The food crisis
NGOs call for Romanian minister to be sacked for GM links
Medvedev hints at end to Russia grain export ban
New Zealand quake hits beer supplies at major brewery
Indonesian volcano unleashes violent eruption
Massive waves wipe out over 40 Liberian homes
Hermine slams northeast Mexico, swirls into US
Safari Slovaks held in plot claim freed: C.Africa
U.S. tries to curb looting of Congo
Rwanda threatens Sudan peacekeeper pullout over UN report
South Sudan to end use of child soldiers 'by year's end'
Internet an equalizer for people with disabilities
First Clear Evidence Of Feasting In Early Humans
The Mother Of All Humans
Giant Chinese 'Michelin baby' startles doctors: reports
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|