Powerful Eruption of Sinabung Volcano Plunges Cities Into Darkness After Ash Plume Rises 5,000 Meters (16,400 Feet) In The Air in Indonesia

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Sinabung volcano in Indonesia had a spectacular eruption this morning, August 10, 2020, 10:16 A.M. local.

The powerful volcanic eruption snet a thick and dense ash plume approx. 16,400 ft (5,000 m) in the air, changing day into night.

Mount Sinabung eruption on August 10 2020, Mount Sinabung eruption on August 10 2020 video, Mount Sinabung eruption on August 10 2020 pictures
Mount Sinabung eruption on August 10 2020 in videos and pictures. Photo: EPA

Indonesia’s rumbling Mount Sinabung erupted Monday, spewing a massive column of ash and smoke 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) above its summit and plunging towns into darkness.

There were no reports of injuries or deaths from Monday morning’s blast, but authorities warned of possible lava flows and more eruptions.

This is an alert for all of us to avoid red-zone areas near Sinabung,” said Armen Putera, a local official with Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre.

However, the crater’s alert status remained at its second-highest level. No one lives inside a previously announced no-go zone around the volcano.

Ballistic impacts of volcanic bombs and pyroclastic flows are likely in a 3-km zone around the main crater as well as 4-5 km along the SE and NE flanks. So be careful if around.

Ash turns day into night

Small communities nearby were coated in a layer of thick ash as at least one village went from day to night in a matter of minutes.

It was like magic – when the ash came it went from being very bright to dark as night. The village went dark for about 20 minutes.” said Rencana Sitepu, the head of Namanteran village, adding that some of the community’s crops were destroyed by the fallout. Volcanic ash is currently dispersing towards west.

The corona pandemic complicated matters as scared residents violated safety rules.

Locals were gathering after the eruption without using face masks because they were all panicking,” said local disaster agency chief Natanael Perangin.

Sinabung previous eruptions

Sinabung had roared back to life in 2010 for the first time in 400 years. After another period of inactivity, it erupted once more in 2013, and has remained highly active since.

In 2016, seven people died in one of the eruptions, while another in 2014 killed 16. In late 2018, a volcano in the strait between Java and Sumatra islands erupted, causing an underwater landslide and tsunami which killed more than 400 people.

Indonesia is home to about 130 active volcanoes due to its position on the “Ring of Fire”, a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circling the Pacific Ocean where frequent seismic activity occurs.

More volcanic eruption news on Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. [SCMP]

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