Strange fountain of fire in Indonesian rice field prompts fears of new devastating Lapinto Mudflow

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Why is water bubbling and fire gushing from the ground in this field rice in Indonesia?

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mysterious fire bursts out of the ground in a rice field in Indonesia. Video via Facebook

A few days after the massive explosion at Balongan Oil Refinery, residents of Indramayu, Indonesia, were shocked by this fire and bubbling water erupting from a small ‘crater’ in a rice field.

Bubbling water, mud and fire are bursting out of the ground… It’s probably gas coming out of the hole.

Do you think the fire could grow underground?

In fact, many netizens are worried that the small burning and bubbling pit could transform into a more dramatic event such as the Lapindo mudflow in Sidoarjo, East Java.

What is the Lapindo Mudflow?

The world’s most destructive mud volcano was born near the town of Sidoarjo, on the island of Java, Indonesia, about 15 years ago – and to this day it has not stopped erupting.

The mud volcano known as Lusi started on May 29, 2006, and at its peak disgorged a staggering 180,000 cubic metres of mud every day, burying villages in mud up to 40 metres thick.

The worst event of its kind in recorded history, the eruption took 13 lives and destroyed the homes of 60,000 people.

But although the mud is still flowing more than a decade later, scientists are not yet agreed on its cause.

The debate is whether the eruption of Lusi was due to an earthquake several days previously, or down to a catastrophic failure of the Banjar Panji 1 gas exploration well that was being drilled nearby at the time.

Given the huge impact of the volcano on the communities nearby and the fields that were their livelihoods, why are we still unsure of the cause? [Facebook, Conversation]

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