Increased volcanic activity seen at Indonesia’s Mount Anak Krakatau

November 2nd, 2010 - 8:59 pm ICT by BNO News  

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) — With Indonesia facing twin disasters from Mount Merapi’s eruptions and the Mentawai islands tsunami, Mount Anak Krakatau’s activity is increasing and sea temperatures nearby are rising due to its activity, officials said on Tuesday.

Mount Anak Krakatau, which is located off the west coast of Java, near Krakatau Island and to the southeast of Sumatra, began spewing out volcanic material over the past few days.

Andi Suhardi, who heads the Anak Krakatau observation, explained that the volcano usually has 90 to 100 small scale eruptions on a daily basis, but currently up to 700 minor eruptions are recorded every day.

As solid material falls on its mountain slopes, Anak Krakatau began to have increased activity following Mount Merapi’s initial eruption last week, Andi said. However, experts say there are no links between the volcanoes.

“No connections exist between the two because they both have their own magma pockets,” Agus Budiyanto, head of the volcano observation team at the Center of Volcanology and Geological Mitigation Agency in Bandung, West Java, said.

Meanwhile, Lucas Donny Setijadji, a volcanologist from Yogyakarta, seconded Budiyanto, saying that Mount Merapi’s eruption only resulted in small tremors, which were too weak to trigger other eruptions.

The stronger 7.7-magnitude earthquake that caused the Mentawai islands tsunami, however, was strong enough to have been able to trigger the Merapi and Anak Krakatau volcanic activity through tectonic movement.

Authorities have warned citizens, fishermen, and tourists to stay at least 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) away from Krakatau. In addition, the temperature of sea water in the Sunda Strait has risen due to the material flow of volcanic activity of Anak Krakatau.

In August 1883, Krakatau erupted and killed at least 40,000 people, creating what is considered to have been the loudest sound in world history as it was heard up to 4,828 kilometers (3,000 miles) away. The eruption discharged the energy of 13,000 nuclear bombs similar to the size and strength of Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

The eruption destroyed over 70 percent of the island and began the formation of Anak Krakatau, which translates to Krakatau’s Child and grows an estimated 5 meters (16.4 feet) each year.

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