The overnight eruption of Java island’s Mount Kelud has triggered the evacuation of 100,000 people, but just what causes such volatile activity?
Indonesia has approximately 130 active volcanoes. Due to its population density and the fertile soils that volcanic slopes provide, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians live close to active volcanos. They have learnt to live with the rumblings and frequently ignore orders to leave.
The huge archipelago sits between the most active seismic region in the world, the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur, and the Alpide Belt.
The United States Geological Survey has described the region as among the most seismically active zones in the world. The Ring of Fire, or the circum-Pacific belt, is the world’s greatest earthquake belt, according to Live Science, because of fault lines running from Chile to Japan and Southeast Asia.
These fault lines are breaks in the plates of the Earth’s crust and are where earthquakes are likely to occur.
The Pacific Ring of Fire is also home to 453 volcanoes and more than half of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes are found here.
Indonesia is located between the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates. When one of the plates moves, it causes earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and even tsunamis in Indonesia and the surrounding areas.
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Indonesian Volcano Causes Chaos, 3 Deaths
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has declared a state of emergency on the main island of Java because of a major volcanic eruption.
Mount Kelud erupted late Thursday, sending a cloud of ash 30 kilometers into the sky.
The eruption killed three people and forced 100,000 to evacuate their homes.
The volcano has coated towns as far as 500 kilometers away with ash and rocks. Schools and businesses were closed and flights grounded at seven airports.
Hadi Rudyatmo, mayor of Surakarta in Central Java, tells VOA that his city was paralyzed Friday with all stores and schools shut down.
Scientists think the worst of the eruptions are over.
Indonesia has around 130 active volcanoes.
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Three people have been killed after their home collapsed from the weight of volcanic ash, as Alice Budisatrijo reports
Tens of thousands of Indonesians have fled their homes after a volcano erupted in east Java.
Mount Kelud spewed ash and debris over a large area, including the city of Surabaya, about 130km (80 miles) away.
Officials said three people died after their houses collapsed under the weight of ash.
Airports in Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Solo shut down because of low visibility. There are also fears that debris could damage aircraft engines.
Yogyakarta airport manager Andi Wirson said the runway was covered in a 5cm-thick layer of ash.
Residents wore masks to protect themselves from the dust and ash in the air
Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes and seek temporary shelter
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