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Sinabung volcano
Stratovolcano 2460 m (8,071 ft)
Sumatra, Indonesia, 3.17°N / 98.39°E
Current status: restless (2 out of 5)
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Sinabung volcano eruptions:
2013-ongoing, 2010
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Sinabung volcano (Sumatra): eruption news and activity updates

Sinabung volcano (Sumatra, Indonesia): large explosion this morning, ash to 50,000 ft

Monday Feb 19, 2018 07:34 AM | BY: T

Eruption of Sinabung this morning (image: Samri Sihombing / VolcanoDiscovery)
Eruption of Sinabung this morning (image: Samri Sihombing / VolcanoDiscovery)
The eruption column taken from the volcano observatory (image: PVMBG / facebook)
The eruption column taken from the volcano observatory (image: PVMBG / facebook)
A very powerful explosive eruption occurred this morning at 08:53 local time, producing a tall ash plume and a series of pyroclastic flows that ran down the southern and southeastern flanks to up to 4-5 km length. It seems that has possibly been the strongest single explosion at the volcano since its current eruption began in late 2013.
VAAC Tokyo reported an ash plume that rose to initially estimated 50,000 ft (15 km) altitude and drifted east. Later statements reduced this numbers to approx. 20-25,000 ft (7-8 km).
Our team on location observed that during the event, a bigger portion of the lava lope extending from the summit dome on the upper steep southern flank broke off. Most likely, the eruption was a combination of collapse and explosion from accumulated gas overpressure in the upper conduit and lava dome.
The eruption was preceded by increased seismicity since 17 Feb when the volcano observatory recorded 17 volcanic earthquakes. The next day (yesterday), seismic activity increased further to a total of 49 quakes.
According to PVMBG, up to 10 pyroclastic flows were generated that traveled to 4.9 km distance to the south-southeast sector and 3.5 km to the east-southeasten one. The flows lasted between 3-13 minutes.
Moderate to heavy ash fall (sandy size) occurred in nearby villages, in particular Tiganderket, Selandi Lama, Selandi Baru, Perbaji, and Payung up to Munte, and in Kutarayat District's east sector.
Preliminary information suggests that there have been no injuries of fatalities by the eruption although this could easily change because despite the evacuation zone is still in place and the effects of the pyroclastic flows seemed to have been contained within it, many people regularly enter the danger zones anyway. Chances of survival from pyroclastic flows are near zero.
Very impressive videos and images of the eruption are found on the social media, like these:

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