A deadly tsunami triggered by Anak
Krakatau volcano’s eruption struck Indonesia on December 22, at 21:30 local
time, during a local holiday.
Giant waves crashed into coastal
towns on the islands of Sumatra and Java, killing at least 281 people and
Sea water did not recede as it would
with an earthquake tsunami and experts say that even if there had been warning
buoys near the volcano, there would have been minimal alert time.
On December 23, coastal residents
near Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano have been warned to keep away from
beaches amid fears it could trigger a new tsunami.
It is thought that volcanic activity
set off undersea landslides which in turn generated the killer waves.
Anak Krakatau erupted again on
December 23, spewing ash and smoke.
Video shot from a charter plane
captured the magnitude of the volcanic event in the Sunda Strait, between
Sumatra and Java.
Rescue efforts are being hampered by
blocked roads but heavy lifting equipment is being transported to badly hit
areas to help search for victims.
The spokesman for the National
Disaster Management Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, told a news conference that
another tsunami is a possibility because of the continued volcanic eruptions of
He said: “Recommendations from [the] Meteorology, Climatology and
Geophysical Agency are that people should not carry out activities on the beach
and stay away from the coast for a while.”
Anak Krakatau, which emerged in 1927
from the caldera that was formed during the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, has
seen increased activity in recent months with people asked to avoid the area
around its crater.
On December, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho put
out a series of tweets explaining why there was no early warning for this
tsunami. He said that Indonesia’s early warning system is set up to monitor
earthquakes but not undersea landslides and volcanic eruptions, which can also
generate deadly waves.
With 13% of the world’s volcanoes in
Indonesia alone, it was crucial for the country to develop such system.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho confirmed there was no tsunami advance warning system the night of the disaster, adding that because of lack of funds, vandalism to the buoys and technical faults there had been no operational tsunami warning system since 2012.
Japan’s Sakurajima volcano – one of the country’s most active volcanoes – is due for a major eruption within the next 30 years, say scientists who have studied a build-up of magma there.
The Sakurajima volcano on Kyushu Island poses a “growing threat”, researchers at the University of Bristol say.
The volcano, located 30 miles from the Sendai nuclear plant, is also close to Kagoshima, a city of 600,000.
Sakurajima’s last deadly eruption was in 1914, when 58 people died.
Image source Wikipedia
The Japanese archipelago, which sits on the Pacific “Ring of fire”, has more than 100 volcanoes.
The Sakurajima volcano regularly spews ash and there are many small explosions there each year, with the latest eruption being in February.
The volcano is closely monitored by Japanese authorities and one of two volcanoes at Level 3 out of 5 levels in Japan’s volcanic warning system, which means that people are warned not to approach the volcano.
“The 1914 eruption measured about 1.5km cubed in volume,” said the study’s lead author Dr James Hickey, who has now joined the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines.
“From our data we think it would take around 130 years for the volcano to store the same amount of magma for another eruption of a similar size- meaning we are around 25 years away.”
A report on the activity of the volcano was published on September 13 and teams from Bristol University and the Sakurajima Volcano Research Centre took part.
Their research showed that 14 million cubic meters of magma is accumulating each year, enough to fill London’s Wembley Stadium 3.5 times over.
Researchers added that the rate at which the magma is accumulating is faster than it can be expelled in its regular smaller eruptions, which led them to infer that a major eruption is likely in the next 30 years.
They made these assessments based on new ways of studying and modeling the volcano’s magma reservoir. Scientists say they hope these findings can help authorities plan for major eruptions.
New evacuation plans have already been prepared, according to an associate professor at Kyoto University.
“It is already passed by 100 years since the 1914 eruption, less than 30 years is left until a next expected big eruption,” said Dr. Haruhisa Nakamichi, Associate Professor at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University.
“Kagoshima city office has prepared a new evacuation plan from Sakurajima.”
Chile’s Calbuco volcano has erupted for the first time in 42 years.
The volcano erupted twice in the space of a few hours.
Chile’s Onemi emergency office declared a red alert following the sudden eruption at around 18.00 local time, which occurred about 625 miles south of Santiago, the capital, near the tourist towns of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt.
Footage from the area shows a huge column of lava and ash being sent several miles into the air.
More than 4,000 people have been evacuated within a 12 mile radius.
The Calbuco volcano is one of the most active in Chile, but its eruption took officials in the area by surprise.
Alejandro Verges, an emergency director for the region, said Calbuco had not been under any special form of observation.
The inhabitants of the nearby town of Ensenada – along with residents from two other smaller communities – have been ordered to evacuate their homes.
Schools in the area have been shut and some flights cancelled.
The nearby city of Puerto Montt – a gateway to the popular Patagonia region – has already been blanketed in a cloud of ash.
TV footage showed traffic jams in the city and long queues at petrol stations. The nearby town of Puerto Varas was also under a state of alert.
Mayor Gervoy Paredes said residents were “very, very frightened”.
Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo called on people affected to “remain calm and stay informed”.
Neighboring Argentina has also put emergency measures in place for the city of Bariloche – about 65 miles from Calbuco – where ash clouds are expected.
Residents there have been warned to stay indoors.
Chile has the second largest chain of volcanoes in the world after Indonesia, with about 500 that are potentially active.
Mayon volcano has erupted in the Philippines, killing four German climbers and their guide.
Mount Mayon at 206 miles south-east of the capital Manila sent a cloud of ash and rocks into the sky early on Tuesday.
The ash blast caught a group climbing the mountain, which is famous for its near-perfect cone.
At least seven other climbers were hurt in the eruption, which lasted for just over a minute.
Mount Mayon at 206 miles south-east of the capital Manila sent a cloud of ash and rocks into the sky early on Tuesday
“Five killed and seven are injured, that is the latest report,” National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief Eduardo del Rosario said.
Four of those killed were German nationals and the fifth was their Filipino guide, the NDRRMC said later in a statement.
A guide on the mountain told a local television station by telephone that those who died were hit by the rocks that rained down on them after the ash blast.
Twenty people were approaching the summit of the mountain when the eruption occurred.
In an advisory, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology called the eruption a “small phreatic event” that lasted about 73 seconds and sent ash 500m into the air. No intensification of volcanic activity was observed, it said, and the alert level would not be raised.
It said small steam and ash ejections could occur with little or no warning and advised against entry to the 4-mile radius Permanent Danger Zone around the volcano.
Chief state seismologist Renato Solidum described the eruption as a “stream driven explosion”, a “normal process” in any volcano. There was no need for local residents around the mountain to evacuate, he said.
Mt Mayon has erupted at least 48 times since records began. The most violent eruption, in 1814, killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.
The most recent eruption was in late 2009, when tens of thousands of local residents were forced to evacuate as the volcano rumbled back to life.