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Mount Sinabung’s volcanic eruption

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    10th May, 2021


Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung erupted belching a massive column of volcanic ash and smoke 3,000 metres (3 km) into the sky.

About the Mount Sinabung

  • Indonesia is home to many active volcanoes because of its location in the “Ring of Fire” or the Circum-Pacific Belt.
    • Ring of Fire is an area along the Pacific Ocean and is characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
    • The Ring of Fire is home to about 75 per cent of the world’s volcanoes and about 90 per cent of earthquakes.
  • Mount Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano of andesite and dacite in the Karo plateau, North Sumatra, Indonesia.
  • It is 40 kilometres from the Lake Toba supervolcano.
  • The volcano has been active since 2010 when it erupted after nearly 400 years of inactivity.

Why does a volcano erupt?

  • There are three types of volcanoes: active, dormant or extinct.
  • An eruption takes place when magma rises to the surface. It is a thick flowing substance and formed when the earth’s mantle melts.
    • As magma is lighter than the rock, it is able to rise through vents and fissures on the surface of the earth. After its eruption, the magma is called lava.
    • Not all volcanic eruptions are explosive as the explosivity depends on the composition of the magma.
    • When the magma is runny and thin, the gases can easily escape it. In this case, the magma will flow out towards the surface.
    • When the magma is thick and dense, gases cannot escape it, which builds up pressure inside resulting in a violent explosion.

Risks from eruptions

  • Volcano causes suffocation that makes people susceptible with respiratory conditions such as asthma and other chronic lung diseases.
  • Volcanic eruptions can result in additional threats to health such as floods, mudslides, power outages, drinking water contamination and wildfires.