Powerful explosion at Mount Sinabung sends plume of ash 6 km into the air, Indonesia

Powerful explosion at Mount Sinabung sends plume of ash 6 km into the air, Indonesia

A powerful new explosion occurred at Mount Sinabung on Tuesday, September 17, sending plume of ash about 6 km into the air. As of Monday, September 16, a total of 6 259 people have been evacuated from surrounding villages.

New eruptive phase of this 2 600 meter high volcano started on the night of September 14/15, 2013, after which the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) raised the volcanic alert level to 3 out of 4.

Yesterday, the official Antara news agency reported that five people were hospitalized in Kabanjahe, the capital of Karo District. It quoted Jhonson Tarigan, a spokesman of the local disaster mitigation agency, as saying the five were having difficulty breathing after inhaling volcanic ash. Authorities asked residents to remain alert for other potential eruptions.​

The volcano continued with near-constant ash venting following today's eruption. 

Video courtesy of VolcanoDiscovery

Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano with many lava flows on its flanks. The migration of summit vents along a N-S line gives the summit crater complex an elongated form. The youngest crater of this conical, 2460-m-high andesitic-to-dacitic volcano is at the southern end of the four overlapping summit craters.

An unconfirmed eruption was noted in 1881, and solfataric activity was seen at the summit and upper flanks of Sinabung in 1912. No confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to explosive eruptions during August-September 2010 that produced ash plumes to 5 km above the summit (GVP).

Mount Sinabung. Image credit: GVP

Featured image: Mt. Sinabung eruption on September 17, 2013. Image credit: VSI

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