Powerful eruption of Sinabung volcano sends ash 15km (50,000ft) in the air just days after official alert level was decreased in Indonesia

Just few days after the official alert level had been decreased, a massive explosion occurred last night at 02:53 local time, generating an ash plume that rose up to 15 km altitude (50,000ft).

The Sinabung volcano strongly erupted on May 25, 2019. Picture by VOA

The height of the plume was estimated by VAAC Tokio using satellite imagery. It quickly drifted and dissipated in southerly directions. Even if the plume was (which is likely) a bit smaller than the estimate, it illustrates that the volcano is unpredictable and capable of producing strong eruptions.

 Sinabung-  une petite incandescence ce 26.05.2019 / 05h11 pourrait suggérer un second tour ? - Doc. PVMBG

Local news channels have reported ashfall on south-eastern Aceh.

According to seismic data, the event lasted more than 7 minutes and produced a very strong signal (120 mm amplitude).

Sinabung - sismogramme du 25 mai 2019 - Doc. Magma Indonesia

New activity since early May

Following a prolonged phase with little to no activity from June 26, 2019, the alert status, which had been at the highest level 4 (“Awas”) almost uninterruptedly for almost 6 years, was decreased to level 3 (“Siaga”) a few days ago.

However, this is currently changing: strong ash venting was observed again on 7 May and lasted nearly 50 minutes. It produced significant ash falls in some areas. Seismic activity also increased… And since last night, the volcano shows its fire again!

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[Volcano Discovery]


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