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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

3 Indonesian Volcanoes that Surprised the World in 2013

Since the era of Krakatau and Tambora to Toba, Indonesia volcanoes are always given a surprise to the world. The mighty eruption often comes from Indonesian volcanos, while the behavioral side, they recently also given a surprise to the world.

In many volcanic activity in Indonesia, there are three volcanoes that give a shock, i.e Sinabung in North Sumatra, Merapi in Yogyakarta and Central Java area. Meanwhile, other volcano is Samalas, the mother of Mount Barujari in West Nusa Tenggara and its mighty eruption that formed Segara Anak Lake, that turns out to cause devastating eruption in 1257 and allegedly associated with the disaster in Europe around that year.

In 2013 , the Sinabung mount back to shock the world. Again and again, Sinabung erupted and caused the rain of ash. One of the Sinabung deadliest eruption occurred on November 25, 2013. In just 2 hours, three times Sinabung's eruption occured and made the height of the smoke reach up to 2 kilometers. Meanwhile, the rain of ash to a radius of 7 km.

Sinabung activity this year gained the attention of the world, is informed by a range of international media. Sinabung is said to "wake up" after sleeping for hundreds of years.
Mount Sinabung in Karo, North Sumatra, still spewing volcanic material, September 17, 2013. Eruptions that occurred Sunday at 2:51, resulting in thousands of people from dozens of villages at the foot of the mountain had to be evacuated. (Picture from: http://sains.kompas.com/)
Previously, Sinabung is categorized as type B or the volcano does not have magmatic eruption characteristic. Volcanos also belong to this type, among others the Merbabu, the Merapi's neighbor volcano. Since its 2010 devastating eruption, Sinabung then categorized as type A, which have a history of eruptions for at least the last 1,600 years.

Sinabung status continues to be adapted since the eruption in September 2013. On September 15, the eruption status of Sinabung was raised from 'Wary' to 'Alert'. And had relegated back to 'Wary' on September 29, then its status in late November was 'Caution'.

Merapi is also given a surprise on November 18, 2013 due to its phreatic eruptions and exhausted fumes to a height of 2,000 meters. The phreatic eruption is said to be a new phenomenon of Merapi. History records that this new phenomenon of its phreatic eruption occurred since the 2010 eruption.
Mount Merapi. (Picture from: http://sains.kompas.com/)
Head of the Research and Technological Development of Geological Disasters Center(Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Bencana Geologi/BPPTKG), Subandriyo, said that the phreatic eruption associated high gas content. Irregularities of 2010 Merapi explosive eruption could occur due to high gas content. Post-eruption, the gas content is high possibility that bring back the phreatic eruptions.

No activity Samalas this year because the volcano is actually already 'colapsed'. Nowadays, there are its children, namely Mount Barujari. Samalas given a surprise because of the research results of Indonesian and foreigner vulcano experts team states, the volcano that are in the Rinjani mountain complex, West Nusa Tenggara, was alleged to have been the deadliest eruption in 1257.

Volcano expert team examined contained traces of volcanic spices in the north polar ice sheet to confirm Samalas massive eruption. From the study results, revealed that the Samalas eruption responsible for starvation and mass mortality events in Europe a year after the eruption. The discovery of thousands of human skeletons in London in 1258 certainly comes from the possibility is closely related to the global impact of the eruption of Samalas  in 1257.
Cloud enveloped the summit of Mount Rinjani (3,726 m) in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. This peak is part of the erupting Mount Samalas to cripple the world in 1257. Super eruptions resulted in the formation of the caldera and Segara Anak lake. (Picture from: http://sains.kompas.com/)
Writings in Babad Lombok describe the awesomeness Samalas eruption. However, the eruption actually much more powerful than what is described in the text. While the Merapi eruptions in 2010 in the scale of 4. Meanwhile, the eruption of Samalas hundreds of years ago reach a scale of 7, with the strength 1,000 times larger than the Merapi eruption.

If Samalas eruption occurred at this time, the loss is infinite. Merapi eruption alone is making 1,000 people evacuated. When the Samalas erupt again, all flights crippled, do not operate.

From all surprise that given by the Indonesian volcanoes, a lesson to be gleaned is alertness. Indonesia is located in a very active geologically region. Behavior change of Sinabung and Merapi for example, must get the serious attention and change the perspective in looking at them. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SAINS KOMPAS]
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