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 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.
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).
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.
VIDEO: Mount Sinabung on Indonesia’s Sumatra island erupts, sending a massive column of ash and smoke into the air and coating local villages in debris.
The volcano has been rumbling since 2010 and saw a deadly eruption in 2016 pic.twitter.com/1ulgtn6Tvk
— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 9, 2019
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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