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Mass Evacuations in Indonesia as Mt Kelud Erupts

Posted by feww on February 14, 2014

VOLCANIC HAZARDS
MASS EVACUATIONS
.

Volcano alert urged 200,000 people to evacuate before eruption

Ash and other volcanic matter ejected by the 1,730-meter Mt Kelud has covered a vast area, including the major city of Surabaya, more than 130km (80 miles) away.

During its most violent eruption on Thursday night, the volcano ejected ash and volcanic gases to a hight of 17km above the summit crater, according to officials.

Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city with a population of more than 3.5 million (6 million in the metropolitan area), is the capital of East Java province.

The major eruption, which ejected ash in all directions as far as 250-km away, forced the closure of three international airports in Surabaya, Solo and Yogyakarta.

mt kelud java - photo mia puspitasari
Mt Kelud erupts in East Java, Indonesia. Image credit:

Kelud eruption 2014 ash raining in YogyakartaVolcanic ash raining on the city of Yogyakarta (metro Population 2.4 million), Java after Mt Kelud eruption.  Image Credit:Aldnonymous

Officials had urged about 200,000 people in 36 villages within the 10-km radius of the crater to evacuate 90 minutes before the eruption, according to reports.

There are UNCONFIRMED reports of multiple deaths within the evacuation zone.

A Thick Blanket of Volcanic Ash 

“The current conditions are that volcanic ash is now covering the runway, apron and tarmac. We have already measured the thickness of the volcanic ash, which is at  on the runway and tarmac,” said a senior official at the Yogyakarta airport.


Mt Kelud (Kelut) is located in East Java, Indonesia.
Kelud is one of Indonesia’s 130  active volcanoes.  The volcano last erupted in 1990, killing at least 40 people. A powerful explosion in 1919 left more than  5,000 dead.

Indonesian Volcanoes

Indonesian Volcanoes have been responsible for a number of cataclysmic explosions in modern history.

Krakatoa [Krakatau] Cataclysmic Eruption 1883

ashcroft -riv thames
William Ashcroft painting “On the Banks of the River Thames” in London, November 26, 1883 [Exactly three months after Krakatoa’s cataclysmic 1883 eruption.]

The Krakatoa eruption affected the climate driving the weather patterns wild for the next 5 years. Average global temperatures fell by about 1.2 °C in the following years, returning to normal only in 1888.

The eruption ejected about 21 cubic kilometers of volcanic matter and destroyed two-thirds of the Krakatoa island. The explosion also spawned giant tsunamis killing an estimated 40,000 people.

Karakatoa
An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 violent explosion of Krakatau.

Based on their models, our colleagues at EDRO forecast that the collapse of Singapore may occur as a result of volcanic activity on the island of Sumatra. However, they have not disclosed any further detail.

Mt Sinabung

Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province has been erupting since November 2013 forcing the evacuation of more than 30,000 people. During an unexpected eruption earlier this month at least 16 people were killed.

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