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Sinabung erupts again: ash reaches 7.5 km a.s.l. 7 September 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Sinabung.
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Mount Sinabung in northern Sumatra continues to be highly active. The Indonesian Volcanological Authority (VSI) has confirmed another eruption in the early hours of this morning: the VSI reports that ‘shallow earthquakes’ from around 21:00 on 6 September were followed by an explosive eruption beginning at 00:23 and lasting until 00:38 on 7 September (all times are local). ‘Thick black smoke’ reached an altitude of approximately 5000 m above the crater, with the plume being blown towards the south-east. Darwin VAAC is reporting ash from Sinabung at FL250 (25,000 ft / 7.5 km altitude) – i.e. the 5000 m altitude of the emissions plus the height of Sinabung itself, which is about 2.5 km.

Chief Government volcanologist Surono is quoted by Reuters as describing this as ‘the biggest eruption yet’. A VSI spokeswoman told Malaysia’s Bernama news agency that the sound of the eruption was audible 8 km away from the volcano. Volcanic deposits of up to 1 cm thickness have been reported in nearby villages, and the ashfall situation has been made worse by heavy rain in the area overnight. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was making an official visit to the area (with entourage), was forced to stay there when his flight back to Jakarta was delayed by this latest eruption.

There are no reports of deaths or injuries from the latest activity, but there is concern for local villagers and farmers who have returned to the evacuated zone around the volcano to safeguard their properties.

For those who can read Indonesian, a PDF briefing on the eruption is available from the VSI’s publications archive, and the regular briefings on Sinabung’s activity can be downloaded as PDF documents from a table labelled ‘Perkembangan Kegiatan G. Sinabung’ on the VSI main page. The latest briefing, released at 06:00 on 7 September, can be downloaded here.

UPDATE. An Indonesian Geological Service webcam for Sinabung can be found via this page: click on the weird little eye in the lower part of the satellite image and the webcam view will pop up (or just click here for a direct link to the image – manual refresh required).

For all our Sinabung coverage: Sinabung « The Volcanism Blog.

Indonesian volcano blows again, biggest eruption yet – Reuters, 7 September 2010
Volcano re-erupts in Indonesia – Bernama, 7 September 2010
Indonesian volcano erupts again – Earth Times News, 7 September 2010
Long-dormant Indonesian volcano erupts again – CNN, 7 September 2010
Indonesian volcano unleashes violent eruption – AFP, 7 September 2010
President visits Mount Sinabung, asks refugees to be patientJakarta Post, 7 September 2010

Global Volcanism Program: Sinabung – summary information for Sinabung (0601-08=)
Volcanological Survey of Indonesia – News and information portal for the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (site often down)

The Volcanism Blog

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