Indonesia Volcano Eruption

By: Nick Estes

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On Dec. 4th, 2021 Mount Semeru erupted. Indonesia sits in a lava band so they are used to volcanoes and earthquakes but this eruption was different. “The eruption was sparked by the loads of rainfall that occurred that day and eroded the dome of the volcano causing a dome avalanche...”. The role of rain has raised questions about whether climate change could bring more frequent eruptions of this kind. This is a concern because eruptions caused by lava-dome collapse tend to be stronger and more destructive than other types. The lava is not the only thing you have to worry about with volcanic eruptions. You also have to be careful about the pyroclastic flow, which are fast-moving clouds of lava, gas, and ash. The temperature of these clouds is typically between 800 to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1472F to 1832F) and the speed can range anywhere from 6 mph to 62 mph which is faster than anyone can run.

More than 30 people were killed in the eruption and searchers are looking for dozens more people missing. Thousands of buildings were damaged, many buried under heavy piles of ash that destroyed homes and entire villages. Mount Semeru is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. Since 1818, at least 55 eruptions have been recorded. The last time the volcano had erupted was back on January 16th, 2021 making it the 2nd time it erupted this year. They are expecting that 3 more are on the verge of erupting and were put on level 3 alert status which is the second-highest level of danger. Being over 12,000 feet Mt. Semeru is the highest volcano on Java island and even after the eruption it remains on level 2 caution status.

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