Indonesia has been pummeled by one natural disaster after another. The eruption of Mount Mirapi on Tuesday was the latest in a series of events that began with an undersea earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Monday. South of Sumatra, the Mentawai Islands bore the brunt of the tsunami, which swept residents out to sea. Mount Mirapi, a volcano in central Java, threatened the surrounding population with hot ash and flying rocks.
Indonesia tsunami sweeps villagers out to sea
Indonesia’s week from hell began with a 7.7 magnitude earthquake six miles under the sea floor off the coast of Sumatra. The New York Times reports that the Indonesia quake triggered a tsunami that hit the Mentawai Islands, located across a strait from the Sumatra mainland, late Monday. The 10-foot high tsunami reached up to 2,000 feet inland. Rescue workers and fishermen searched for survivors in the water. So far 15 bodies were found and some survivors as well, the Indonesian emergency official told the Times on Tuesday.
Mount Mirapi causes more problems
Seismologists explained that the most volatile earthquake zones in the world include the Mentawai Islands. Mount Mirapi is the most active volcano in Indonesia. It is in south-central Java right above the city of Yogyakarta. According to the BBC, the highest alert went from authorities watching volcano Monday. Three explosions happened at about 6 p.m., reports the BBC.
Ring of Fire life and death here
Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions all happen often in Indonesia. The archipelago is right on the Ring of Fire, and it has a population of 237 million. The Ring of Fire extends from the west coast of the Americas to Japan and Southeast Asia and is an interconnected circle of earthquake faults. The pressure building for so long has led scientists to believe that a powerful blast will come from Mount Mirapi. An avalanche of hot gas and rock in 2006 killed two people. The same kind of thing killed 60 people in 1994. At least 1,300 people were killed in a 1930 eruption.
New York Times: http://nytimes.com/2010/10/27/world/asia/27indo.html
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