Strombolian eruption at Mount Agung, ash to 5.5 km (18 044 feet) a.s.l.

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Activity at Agung volcano in Bali, Indonesia continues to fluctuate at high levels. A notable strombolian eruption took place at the volcano on Friday, January 19, 2018, with ash cloud top reaching an altitude of 5.5 km (18 044 feet) above sea level.

The activity at Agung volcano continued to fluctuate at high level this month, following the first eruption since 1963 on November 21, 2017.

Videos below show powerful strombolian eruption that started at 11:21 UTC on January 19, 2018:

Visual observations as well as seismic, deformation, and geochemistry data indicated that the eruption was continuing, though deformation data in recent days showed a stagnant trend, BNPB said earlier this month.

As of the morning of January 4, the agency noted that there were 70 610 evacuees spread out in 240 shelters. The exclusion zone was adjusted to 6 km (3.7 miles) in all directions that same day, allowing thousands of displaced people the option to return to their homes. An estimated 17 115 people in seven villages have residences within the 6-km-radius exclusion zone. 

PVMBG reported that during January 3 and 9 gray-and-white plumes rose as high as 2 km (8 202 feet) above the crater rim and drifted in multiple directions.

Gray-and-white plumes rose as high as 500 m (1 640 feet) above Agung’s crater and drifted S, SE and E between January 10 and 16. An event at 17:54 local time on January 11 produced an ash plume that rose 2.5 km (1.5 miles) above the crater rim and drifted NE (likely causing ashfall in areas downwind), and another event at 07:23 on January 15 generated an ash plume that rose 2 km (1.2 miles).

As of January 11, BNPB estimated that 53 207 evacuees were spread out in 233 shelters.

The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4) and the exclusion zone continued at a 6-km radius.

Geological summary

Symmetrical Agung stratovolcano, Bali’s highest and most sacred mountain, towers over the eastern end of the island. The volcano, whose name means ” Paramount,” rises above the SE caldera rim of neighboring Batur volcano, and the northern and southern flanks of Agung extend to the coast.

The 3142-m-high (10 308 feet) summit contains a steep-walled, 500-m-wide (1 640 feet), 200-m-deep (656 feet) crater. The flank cone Pawon is located low on the SE side.

Only a few eruptions dating back to the early 19th century have been recorded in historical time. The 1963-64 eruption, one of the world’s largest of the 20th century, produced voluminous ashfall along with devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused extensive damage and many fatalities. (GVP)

Featured image: Strombolian eruption at Mount Agung on January 19, 2018. Credit: Devy Kamil Syahbana‏

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