Sunday, August 29, 2010

The un-expected Mount Sinabung eruption in North Sumatra, August 29, 2010

After a dormant period of 400 years, Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra erupts on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 00.08pm. The ejected materials, seen as thick black smoke, consist of sands, small stones and sulfur gas reach as high as 1,500 meters (about 5,000 feet) and prompting the evacuation of at least 12.000 residents. One people reported died of breathing difficulties. The ash spread to a distance of 30 kilometers from the volcano. Evacuated resident are staying in government buildings, houses of worship and other evacuation centers in two nearby towns.

The volcano erupts after rumbling for several days. On August 29, 2010, the increasing activity manifest by white smoke and fumarola solfatara in the active crater. On the following day, Sunday at 00:08 pm, roaring sound heard from the summit area, remarking the main eruption stage. Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) immediately raised the level alert into its highest level. This volcano previously classified as type B volcano, and after the eruption, PVMBG raised its type into type A.

The 2,460-meter Sinabung volcano located in District Tanah Karo, North Sumatra. The nearest major city is Medan. There is no flight disruption reported yet. The eruption was unpredictable, caused by lack of knowledge in terms of its eruptive patterns and general forms; the last activity recorded in this volcano was that in 1600.

A villager covers her nose and mouth from volcanic ash as Mount Sinabung spews smoke in the background in Karo, North Sumatera, Indonesia, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010. (Image source: Associated Press)

Update: Second, more forceful eruption occurred early on Monday, August 30, 2010, forcing more than 20.000 people to remain in evacuation centers. The eruption occurred at 6.30 am create a column of smoke up to 2000 meter into the sky.

Mount Sinabung's second eruption on Monday, August 30, 2010 (Image source: The Jakarta Post)

Update: Third and even more forceful eruption occurred on Friday, September 3, 2010 around 4.38am. Covering nearby area with thick, black smoke. The sound and volcanic tremor felt by residents at 12 km away from the volcano.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Magnitude 5.0 Yogyakarta Earthquake

A magnitude 5.0 struck Yogyakarta region on Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 06:41:38 PM local time. The epicenter located 6 km southwest of the damaging M 6.2 earthquake of May 26, 2006, onshore at position 8.034°S, 110.380°E (BMG). It is not clear if this events is related to 2006 events but by looking at alignment location of the epicenter, there is a big possibility that this earthquake occurred at the same fault system. The 2006 events caused more than 6.000 fatalities and a massive infrastructure destruction, leaves traumatic memories to the residents and causing panic reaction to this particular event. The shakes felt as a strong ground motion for about 5 seconds by the residents of Yogyakarta city, Bantul and Gunungkidul regency. No damaged and fatalities reported yet.

Location of this event related to 2006 event