Sinabung volcano (Sumatra): eruption news and activity updates
Sinabung volcano (Sumatra, Indonesia) activity update
Tuesday Dec 31, 2013 14:56 PM | BY: T
Medium sized pyroclastic flow reaching the lower slopes of Sinabung today (Image: Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB)More and increasingly larger (and hence more dangerous) pyroclastic flows are being formed by the growing lava dome of the volcano. These "flows" are hot turbulent avalanches of hot blocks and ash in suspension with hot gas and air, that can travel down at great speed the slopes of the mountain, typically following the paths of valleys.
Today, one of the pyroclastic flows reached a distance of 3000 m, ie. the lower slopes. It needs to be pointed out that anything living in the path of these flows is killed, and even larger structures usually destroyed or completely burned. The exclusion zone of 5 km currently in place seems clearly to be too small.
Even without vertical explosions, co-ignimbrite ash plumes from the pyroclastic flows reached an altitude of 9 km.
Contrary to some newspaper reports, there is currently NO lava flow. This could of course change if the lava from the dome becomes less viscous and becomes able to descend as a more or less coherent mass (lava flow) instead of breaking of and produce rockfalls that often turn into pyroclastic flows (hot block and ash avalanches, or nuées ardentes).
Monday, Dec 30, 2013
The growing lava dome has started to produce (extremely dangerous) pyroclastic flows, as parts of the unstable mass of the viscous lava have now overtopped the crater the dome had been growing inside. ... [more]
Saturday, Dec 28, 2013
VSI confirmed that a new lava dome (a mass of viscous magma accumulating at the vent) has made its appearance on the northern crater of the volcano. It had a height of 56 meters and diameter of 105 meters on 26 Dec. Its volume was estimated to about 1 million cu meters, and the growth rate at 3.5 m3/second. ... [more]
Friday, Dec 27, 2013
The volcano has been relatively calm and only produced a steam plume sometimes mixed with ash, but no new significant explosions. Local media talk about a new lava dome spotted at the summit, but evidence (weak red glow at night and blurred photos etc) is still very weak and should be confirmed. ... [more]
Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013
Activity has been low at the volcano, but occasional small explosions and ash emissions still occur. VAAC Darwin reported an ash plume at 10,000 ft (3 km) yesterday and maintains Aviation Color Code RED, as the chance of a sudden larger explosion remains high. [more]
Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013
The Indonesian Volcanological Survey (VSI) informed in its latest press release that a significant increase in seismic activity was detected during the past days. ... [more]