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Indonesia's Mount Tambora shows rising volcanic activity BIMA - The status of the Mount Tambora volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa has been raised to the second-highest alert status as its activity has been increasing since April, the Jakarta Globe reported on Friday.

Residents who have spent most of their lives living on the slopes of the volcano remain unfazed despite the warnings from authorities and the rumblings they are increasingly feeling from underneath the earth, according to Syaifullah, the head of the Pekat subdistrict which lies on Tambora's hillside.

"The hundreds of families in the villages and hamlets that lay between 5 to 10 kilometers (3 to 6 miles) from the peak have not shown any panic and continue to conduct their daily activity as usual," Syaifullah said.

Mount Tambora, which is responsible for the largest and deadliest volcanic eruption in recorded history, started showing signs of awakening in April. But in early August, it spewed thick white smoke 20 meters (66 feet) into the sky.

So far, Indonesian authorities have not ordered any evacuations and have only warned residents to be on alert. Two villages, Pancasila and Doro Pet, are particularly vulnerable as they are located within 5 kilometers (3 miles) of the volcano's peak which has a height of 4,300 meters (14,100 feet), making it the tallest in the Indonesian archipelago.

Tambora's eruption of April 10, 1815, killed at least 71,000 and as many as 92,000 people. Around 11,000 were killed directly by the eruption and the remaining 60,000 or more died in the aftermath from starvation and disease as the eruptive fallout ruined the agricultural crops of the region.

The 1815 eruption is estimated to have had a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) value of 7, the only such explosion since the Hatepe eruption in New Zealand in 180 AD and only the fifth known in human history.

The eruption caused significant global climate anomalies such as the phenomenon known as a "volcanic winter." In 1816, Europe and North America suffered massive crop failures and the worst famine of the 19th century due to the dust and sulfur emitted by the volcano in what became known as the "year without a summer."

Although there is a possibility that an explosion of the same scale could happen again, residents seem optimistic given that the volcano has erupted three times since 1815 but none of those events has achieved a VEI value of more than 2.

Furthermore, the West Nusa Tenggara province, where Tambora is situated, is planning a bicentenary commemoration of the eruption of the volcano. Infrastructure improvements are being carried out across the province to be completed by 2015, including the construction of a new port.

The volcanoes in Indonesia are among the most active of the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

One of Indonesia's most active volcanoes is Mount Merapi on Java Island which on Sunday reported thick white smoke coming out of it. Last year, more than 300 people were killed in a series of eruptions between October and November which also displaced over 300,000 people.


Related link Related link:
Changes in activity for Mount Tambora

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Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Tags: Mount Tambora, activity, increase, alert


Posted in Volcanoes @ 03 September 2011 00:44 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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