Indonesia’s tallest volcano, Mount Semeru, may have another mass explosion just weeks after it erupted on December 4. Indonesia’s geological agency said they noticed an increase in activity around the volcano. This could trigger another blow.
Most recently, 48 people were killed and dozens of others went missing when Mount Semeru erupted weeks ago. Officials are worried that the lava flow and gases from the eruption would cause another deadly strike on the town, according to the New York Post.
The 12,060-foot mountain experienced a collapsed lava dome, followed by heavy rainfall after its last explosion. Indonesia’s energy and mineral administer, Arifin Tasrif, is concerned that the 280 million cubic feet of sand from the volcano’s crater is clogging the Besuk Kobokan River. This is because it’s directly in the lava’s path.
“As a result, if there is another eruption, it would block the flow path and create new lava flows spreading to the surrounding area,” he said.
Officials are also warning residents nearby to follow an updated danger map. Additionally, they raised the warning level of eruption to the second-highest rank.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said the most recent blow caused injuries to more than 100 people. This is also with 22 people incurring serious burns. Another 36 people are still unaccounted for.
Thousands of people live along the hills of Mount Semeru, despite the increase in activity over the past 200 years. Indonesia President Joko Widodo promises to spend time in the region, rebuilding necessary infrastructure that received damage earlier this month.
Further, Mount Semeru sits along a string of Pacific Rim fault lines which cause many earthquakes and volcanic activity. The horseshoe lines have a nickname of the “Ring of Fire.”
Volcanic Eruptions on Mars
While the people of Indonesia are preparing for another massive volcanic eruption, scientists at NASA are confirming that Mars once had volcanic eruptions too.
Scientists discovered that in the Arabia Terra quadrant of Mars 4 billion years ago, massive volcanoes exploded on the red planet. And now they’re finding evidence of it. Scientists discovered calderas, or the craters volcanoes collapse into, on this section of the planet.
“Each one of these eruptions would have had a significant climate impact,” said Patrick Whelley, geologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The geologist believes that the impact of these eruptions could have caused the planet’s climate to drastically change.
The collection of evidence points to mass explosions called super eruptions, scientists at NASA said.
“People are going to read our paper and go, ‘How? How could Mars do that? How can such a tiny planet melt enough rock to power thousands of super eruptions in one location?’” said Jacob Richardson, NASA Goddard researcher.