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Bizarro Earth

Indonesia: Mount Merapi erupts, thousands flee in panic

Mount Merapi
© Unknown
Mount Merapi erupted three times on Tuesday, emitting searing clouds and volcanic ash
Mount Merapi erupted three times on Tuesday, emitting searing clouds and volcanic ash, a volcanologist said.

Hot ash rained down from the smoke-covered crater, injuring at least 20 people.

"We heard three explosions around 06:00 pm (1100GMT) spewing volcanic material as high as 1.5 kilometres and sending heat clouds down the slopes," government volcanologist Surono told AFP.

Before the latest eruption, people living in the shadow of Indonesia's most active volcano had been warned to evacuate or risk being killed.

Authorities had put an area 10 kilometres around the crater of Mount Merapi on red alert Monday, ordering 19,000 people to flee.

"This eruption is certainly bigger than the 2006 eruption during which the heat clouds occurred for only seven minutes after the eruption," Surono said.

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia struggles as tsunami, volcano tolls rise

damaged building in a village flattened by Monday's earthquake triggered tsunami
© AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim
This aerial photo shows a damaged building in a village flattened by Monday's earthquake triggered tsunami on Pagai island, West Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. Planes and helicopters packed with rescue workers and supplies landed for the first time Wednesday on remote Indonesian islands that were pounded by a 10-foot (three-meter) tsunami, sweeping away villages and killing at least 154 people.
Mentawai Islands - Helicopters with emergency supplies finally landed Wednesday on the remote Indonesian islands slammed by a tsunami that killed at least 272 people, while elsewhere in the archipelago the toll from a volcanic eruption rose to 30, including the mountain's spiritual caretaker.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono cut short a state visit to Vietnam to rush home to deal with the dual disasters that struck Indonesia within 24 hours, straining the country's ability to respond.

The first aerial surveys of the region hit by the 10-foot (three-meter) tsunami revealed huge swaths of land underwater and the crumbled rubble of homes torn apart by the wave. One house lay tilted, resting on the edge of its red roof, with tires and slabs of concrete piled up on the surrounding sand.

Two days after an undersea earthquake spawned the killer wave, the casualty count was still rising as rescuers landed for the first time on the Mentawai island chain, which was closest to the epicenter and the worst hit. Bad weather had kept them away previously.


Tsunami, Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions Strike Indonesia!

© unknown
A picture of Indonesia's Mount Merapi taken from Umbul Harjo village in Sleman, Yogyakarta, shows the volcano spewing smoke. Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupted three times on Tuesday, causing thousands to flee and claiming the life of a three-month-old baby as it emitted searing clouds and volcanic ash.
Rescuers battled rough seas Tuesday to reach remote Indonesian islands pounded by a 10-foot tsunami that swept away homes, killing at least 113 people. Scores more were missing and information was only beginning to trickle in from the sparsely populated surfing destination, so casualties were expected to rise.

The fault that ruptured Monday on Sumatra island's coast also caused the 2004 quake and monster Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

Though hundreds of disaster officials were unable to get to many of the villages on the Mentawai islands - reachable only by a 12-hour boat ride - they were preparing for the worst.

"We have 200 body bags on the way, just in case," said Mujiharto, who heads the Health Ministry's crisis center, shortly before announcing a five-fold increase in the death toll.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity due to its location on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire - a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.

Better Earth

Indonesian tsunami kills 108, hundreds missing

tsunami indonesia
© unknown
A tsunami that pounded remote islands in western Indonesia following an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra killed more than 100 people, officials said on Tuesday, and hundreds more were missing.

The 7.5 magnitude quake hit 78 km west of South Pagai, one of the Mentawai islands, late on Monday. Local legislator Hendri Dori Satoko told Metro TV the latest toll was 108 dead and 502 missing.

Most buildings in the coastal village of Betu Monga were destroyed, said Hardimansyah, an official with the regional branch of the Department of Fisheries.

"Of the 200 people living in that village, only 40 have been found. 160 are still missing, mostly women and children," he told Reuters by phone. "We have people reporting to the security post here that they could not hold on to their children, that they were swept away. A lot of people are crying."

Hardimansyah, who has only one name, said 80 percent of the houses in the area were damaged and food supplies were low.

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia orders evacuations as volcano threat peaks

Indonesia raised its alert for Mount Merapi to its highest level on Monday and ordered people living near the rumbling volcano to move immediately to safer ground. Seismic activity has escalated dramatically at the volcano on the densely populated island of Java, with increasing lava spurts and about 500 multi-phased volcanic earthquakes recorded over the weekend, officials said.

The state office of volcanology upgraded its alert level to red at 6:00 am (2300 GMT), signalling an eruption could be imminent.

"The magma has been pushed upwards due to the escalating seismic energy and it's about a kilometre (mile) below the crater," government volcanologist Surono said.

People had been ordered to evacuate a danger zone of 10 kilometres (six miles) from the crater of the 2,914-metre (9,616-foot) mountain.


Seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise Volcano, Reunion

© Unknown
A seismic crisis occurred at Piton de la Fournaise Volcano, Reunion on the evening of 23rd September. Several tens of earthquakes were located at the base of the summit area, in Dolomieu crater.

The seismic crisis was associated with significant inflation (3 cm) of the volcano, especially near the summit. The data indicates that magma has moved towards the surface and an eruption is imminent.

Access trails to the summit of Piton de la Fournaise, either from Pas de Bellecombe or from any other trails have been closed to the public from 24th September 2010 until further notice.

Bizarro Earth

Planchon Volcano Starts Spewing Rocks, Gases, Chile's Geology Service Says

The Planchon volcano, on the border between Argentina and Chile, started erupting in the last few days, spewing pyroclastic material and gases, Chile's National Geology and Mining Service said.

The plume yesterday reached as high as 1.2 kilometer (0.75 mile) above the crater, the geology service said on its website today. The volcano, 196 kilometers south of Santiago, has had a permanent plume of smoke for several years.

The geology service described the eruption as "minor." Geologists plan to fly over the area today. An erupting volcano in 2008 forced residents to abandon the Chilean town of Chaiten.

To contact the reporter responsible on this story: Sebastian Boyd in Santiago at sboyd9@bloomberg.net


More People Flee Homes as Volcano Erupts in Indonesia

© Xinhua/AFP
Mount Sinabung volcano spews smoke in the district of Tanah Karo outside the city of Medan, North Sumatra August 28, 2010.
The number of evacuees in volcano eruption in Indonesia climbed to over 21,000 on Monday and was expected to rise, spokesman of National Disaster Management Agency Priyadi Kardono said.

The rise of over 9,000 evacuees from that on Sunday has caused overload on shelters, the spokesman said.

Some of the evacuees have suffered from diseases, he said.

"The problems at the shelters now is overload and it may become severer as the people keep flocking on the refugee centers. Besides some of the evacuees have got disease, most of them have respiratory problem," Priyadi told Xinhua by phone.


Volcano erupts on Indonesia's Sumatra after 400 years

© Reuters / Tarmizy Harva
Mount Sinabung volcano spews smoke outside the city of Medan, North Sumatra August 28, 2010
A volcano erupted on the Indonesia island of Sumatra on Sunday for the first time in four centuries, sending smoke 1,500 meters (about 5,000 feet) into the air and prompting the evacuation of thousands of residents, officials said.

There were no reports of casualties so far and aviation in the area was unaffected.

Mount Sinabung in the north of Sumatra began erupting around midnight after rumbling for several days and lava was overflowing its crater, Surono, head of Indonesia's vulcanology center, told Reuters. The volcano had been placed on red level, the highest alert.

Bizarro Earth

Update: Galeras Volcano in Colombia Erupts, Government Raises Alert

Galeras Volcano
© Johana Gonzales/Getty Images
The Galeras volcano, Narino department, Colombia, on January 3, 2010. The Galeras volcano in southeastern Colombia erupted Saturday night, but there were no reports of deaths or injuries, authorities said.
The Galeras volcano, located 14,029 feet above sea level in southwestern Colombia, erupted at 4 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

A total of 278 people were evacuated according to an Associated Press report.

Hospitals close to the affected area were requested by the government to prepare medical resources and supplies to be ready to provide immediate help.

The eruption, which spewed gas and ash, has not caused significant damage in the surrounding area, said an official press release.

The government issued alerts to residents in surrounding towns recommending residents stay indoors, avoid panic, remove ash in residential areas, and avoid using bridges after the eruption.

Galeras is considered the one of the most active volcanoes in the country, according to the Global Volcanism Program.