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Volcanic Hazard – Eruptive Phase: Mount Sinabung Volcano, Sumatra, Indonesia

2016/05/22

Volcanic Eruption –  Indonesian Archipelago

Indonesia |  Karo Regency, North Sumatra, Mount Sinabung Volcano
Location: 3°10’12.0″N 98°23’31.0″E
Stratovolcano:  2,460 m ( 8,071 ft)
Status: Erupting

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Sinabung volcano (Sumatra)

The deadly pyroclastic flow at Sinabung yesterday (image: PVMBG)

Sunday May 22, 2016
VolcanoDiscovery

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia)

A series of pyroclastic flows occurred yesterday afternoon – sadly, at least one of them was was much larger than most others during the past months and claimed at least 3 victims from local farmers who were working on their fields within the exclusion zone, approx. 4 km from the volcano.

The pyroclastic flows – turbulent avalanches of hot debris and ash, caused by partial collapses of the slowly growing lava dome and its over-spilling lava lobes on the upper steep flanks – occurred in a series at 14:28, 15:08 and 16:39 local time.

Sinabung volcano (Sumatra, Indonesia): larger-than-average pyroclastic flow claims at least 3 victims

A series of pyroclastic flows occurred yesterday afternoon – sadly, at least one of them was was much larger than most others during the past months and claimed at least 3 victims from local farmers who were working on their fields within the exclusion zone, approx. 4 km from the volcano.

The pyroclastic flows – turbulent avalanches of hot debris and ash, caused by partial collapses of the slowly growing lava dome and its over-spilling lava lobes on the upper steep flanks – occurred in a series at 14:28, 15:08 and 16:39 local time.
The first of them appears to have been the largest in the series (although clouds obscured views after the first one). The flow reached 4500 m distance (significantly more than any other recent one, compared to averages of 2000-3500 m of similar flows during the past months). Presumably it also was the one that killed the 3 villagers and burnt at least 4 others. All of the victims were caught by surprise (and had no chance of outrunning the flow) while working on their fields within the (unfortunately no longer much enforced) exclusion zone near the former (now officially evacuated) village of Kabanjahean.

This sad incident shows once more that dome-building eruptions, even when the volcano is in a comparably low phase of activity (as Sinabung has been during the past year or more), they remain extremely dangerous. Erupted viscous (sticky) lava accumulated on the top of the volcano retains much of its gasses for a long time, and once larger pieces of it break off, simply by gravitational instability, the gasses trapped inside the rock fragment it, which increases the fluidization of the avalanche, enabling it to reach great speed and distances of many kilometers.


Source: VolcanoDiscoverySinabung volcano (Sumatra): eruption news and activity updates

More Information:
Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM
Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB)
All news about: Sinabung volcano
Information about: Sinabung volcano

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