Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung, located in North Sumatra, has erupted more than 200 times since last year and has already displaced more than 20,000 villagers. The volcano has been dormant since the 1600s.
Volcano Discovery provides the latest volcanic activity of Sinabung:
The actively growing lava dome, being a mass of unstable, moderately viscous lava, frequently collapses in parts and produces hot bloack and ash avalanches (pyroclastic flows) that reached up to 4.5 km distance. According to the latest figures, the number of refugees from the 5-7 km exclusion zone has reached approx. 25,000.
Indonesia, located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, has more than 100 active volcanoes. But Carl believes Sinabung will only lead to medium size eruption:
The magmatic system under Sinabung does not in any way contain enough magma for a supereruption.
Since so little is known about this volcano it is probably a good idea to look at the surrounding volcanoes to get an idea of what might be in store. Just a few kilometers away is the double volcano system of Mount Sibayak/Mount Pinto, and that might give a good clue at what might be in store.
Evacuations have been ordered by authorities who also assured affected residents that aid will be delivered promptly to those who are in temporary shelters. But aside from displacing villagers, the eruption of Sinabung made a tremendous negative impact on the local agriculture.
Utami Irawati expressed solidarity to those affected by the eruption:
Thoughts and prayers for people around Sinabung. Stay strong, and I sincerely pray that things will get better soon :”(
— Utami Irawati (@utamiirawati) January 7, 2014
The photo below from Demotix shows Mount Sinabung throwing ash and lava in the air.