Thousands Flee Over Volcanic Activity in Indonesia

Thousands Flee Over Volcanic Activity in Indonesia

( – More than 6,000 people were evacuated on an Indonesian island after a volcano started expelling ash. The Mount Lewotobi Laki-laki volcano on the island of Flores began spewing ash over the weekend of January 13, leading to more than 40 eruptions of hot gas and clouds that reached around 1,500 meters into the air.

Officials in the area warned residents and visitors to stay around 2.5 miles away from the volcano and warned people to be aware that lava can enter local streams and other waterways.

Meanwhile, a second volcano erupted on Indonesia’s Mount Merapi at around the same time. The Marapi Volcano Observation Post in West Sumatra recorded ash reaching 1,300 meters high, with some falling on nearby villages and roads. More than 100 residents were evacuated, but no casualties or injuries were reported from either incident.

It is the second time within two months that Marapi has erupted – in December, a surprise eruption caused the deaths of 23 people. A group of 75 climbers were making their way up the mountainside and became stranded within the ash and smoke. Rescue efforts were hampered by low visibility, but teams managed to rescue 52 climbers while confirming the deaths of 11 others on the scene. More bodies were discovered over the following days.

Over recent decades, the highest number of volcano-related deaths have occurred in Indonesia, followed by the Philippines and Ecuador. The deadliest incident ever recorded occurred in Indonesia in 1815 and caused the deaths of tens of thousands. Known as the “Year without a Summer,” it began when Mount Tambora exploded and killed several thousand people on the island of Sumbawa, but its impact through 1816 is considered even deadlier. Failed crops and disease followed, killing around 80,000.

There are approximately 170 possibly active volcanoes in the United States, with most located in Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest. Experts consider Kilauea in Hawaii as potentially the most dangerous. It has erupted 34 times since the 1950s.

Copyright 2024,