5 km radius around Mount Sinabung volcano evacuated as eruptions continue

Mount Sinabung keeps rumbling on – and more than just rumbling as eruptions with material ejected upto 5,000m and lava flows are observed. Around 25,000 people have been evacuated for 5km surrounding the volcano and the authorities are urging those within a 7km radius to leave.

JakartaGlobe:More than 25,000 people have fled their homes following a series of eruptions and lava flows from Mount Sinabung volcano, an official said Sunday. Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra sent hot rocks and ash up to 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) in the air “several times” on Saturday, National Disaster Mitigation Agency emergency response director Tri Budiarto told AFP.

“So far, 25,516 people have been evacuated. There’s nobody now within a five-kilometer [three-mile] radius of the crater. We are urging those living within seven kilometers southeast of the crater to move too,” he added. Hot lava, which has been spewing from the volcano for the past two weeks, has flowed into a river and filled up valleys with pyroclastic material, he said.

“There were small secondary explosions when lava flows came into contact with the water, but there are no casualties so far. We are urging people not to carry out any activity in the rivers,” he added.

Mount Sinabung is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia that straddle major tectonic fault lines, known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. It had been quiet for around 400 years until it rumbled back to life in 2010, and again in September last year.

During the 19th century there were volcano eruptions having a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 5 or greater on average every 11 years. During the 20th century the average was 7 years with the greatest interval between VEI5 eruptions being 23 years. The last VEI5 eruption was in 1991 and now – 22 years on – a VEI5 eruption is overdue.

Mount Sinabung started its rumblings back in September 2013 and it may be that the continuing small eruptions relieve sufficient pressure to prevent a VEI5+ eruption. But the odds that the next VEI5 eruption occurs in or around Indonesia is still quite high – and it could be that Sinabung is just bubbling up to be a major eruption. However the eruptions are being monitored so closely that any such imminent eruption will probably be detected early enough to get most people out of harms way.

Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Google Maps

Mount Sinabung Indonesia – Google Maps

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One Response to “5 km radius around Mount Sinabung volcano evacuated as eruptions continue”

  1. Mount Sinabung gets deadly as sightseers return | The k2p blog Says:

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