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Indonesian volcano erupts again, here's why it has frequent blasts

Tuesday, March 2nd 2021, 8:52 pm - Vulcanologists recorded a total of 13 separate blasts Tuesday after Mount Sinabung's first major eruption since August 2020. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Indonesia's Mount Sinabung erupted Tuesday, sending ash and smoke into the air as high as several kilometres or 5,000 metres, according to local disaster officials.

Located in the country's North Sumatra province, Tuesday's eruption of the 2,460-metre-high volcano -- which became active in 2010 after being dormant for 400 years -- is the latest a series that began in 2013, according to the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG).


The first significant eruption since August 2020, vulcanologists recorded a total of 13 separate blasts Tuesday. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton attributes the frequency of Mount Sinabung’s eruptions to its placement on the Ring of Fire -- a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean where recurring seismic activity takes place.

“It’s this (denser) Indo-Australian Plate made up of more basalts as opposed to this granite Eurasian Plate. So you get significant subduction along this plate boundary that causes frequent volcanic eruptions including this recent stratovolcano that erupted in early March,” said Hamilton.

Those living nearby were told to steer clear of the danger zone, wear masks for protection from smoke and be alert for possible cold lava flows. The PVMBG said Mount Sinabung is still under Level 3 alert status, the second-highest level, which it has been at since 2019.


A 2014 eruption killed at least 16 people after a cloud of hot ash immersed surrounding villages. Indonesia, which consists of more than 17,000 islands and islets, has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

Sources: Bangkok Post | Daily Sabah

Thumbnail courtesy of Centre of Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG)/Storyful.

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