The following images show how much of the landscape around Sinabung volcano, Indonesia, has changed in last 9 months. The ash has coated nearby villages, as well as the coffee, chili pepper, and other plantation clustered at the foot of the volcano.
Sinabung was dormant, and with no confirmed eruption in the historical record, until a brief burst of activity in August and September 2010 caused the temporary evacuation of about 30 000 nearby residents. People quickly returned as the eruption waned but only three years later, a new series of eruptions started.
Sadly, on February 1, 2014, the volcano killed 15 people when hot debris engulfed the village of Sukameriah.
The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite collected a natural-color image of an ash plume from Sinabung on February 6, 2014. Frequent collapses from the unstable lava dome near Sinabung’s summit create pyroclastic flows that have swept at least 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) down the slopes so far. The flow deposits are visible southeast of Sinabung’s summit and appear light gray.
Date acquired February 6, 2014. Image credit: NASA / Earth Observatory - EO-1 ALI
Date acquired June 7, 2013. Image credit: NASA / Earth Observatory - EO-1 ALI
The eruption has coated much of the surrounding landscape with ash, causing green dark green forests to appear tan. The light-colored villages and fields near Sinabung, as well as the dark green forests of Gunung Leuser National Park, are visible in a 2003 Landsat 7 image:
Date acquired May 19, 2003. Image credit: NASA / Earth Observatory - Landsat 8
Date acquired January 16, 2014. Image credit: NASA / Earth Observatory - EO-1 / ALI
Video courtesy of PhotoVolcanica. January 22, 2014.
Source: Earth Observatory
Featured image: Mount Sinabung, Indonesia. Date acquired February 6, 2014. Image credit: NASA / Earth Observatory - EO-1 ALI