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Mount Ibu Eruption Triggers Volcanic Thunderstorm, Official Says

Translator

Antara

19 May 2024 11:49 WIB

A volcanic thunderstorm was witnessed during Mount Ibu's eruption in West Halmahera district, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Saturday (May 18, 2024). (ANTARA/HO-PVMBG/rst)

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A four-kilometer-high volcanic ash cloud formed by the eruption of Mount Ibu in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, triggered flashes of lightnings that illuminated the volcano's peak on Saturday, the Mount Ibu observation post reported.

"The sound of rumbling and roaring was heard up to the Mount Ibu observation post with lightning seen in the eruption column," an officer at the observation post, Richard Chaniago, informed in a report released by his office on Saturday.

Volcanic thunderstorms arise during an eruption due to high temperatures that heat gas ions. This then causes a spike in electrical charge, he explained.

According to Chaniago, the eruption occurred at 8:08 p.m. local time on Saturday. Columns of gray volcanic ash with "thick intensity" were seen heading to the west and northwest.

The eruption was recorded on a seismogram, with a maximum amplitude of 28 millimeters and a duration of approximately 9 minutes and 12 seconds, he said.

At 8:34 p.m. local time, another eruption was recorded, with the volcano producing a column of smoke as high as one kilometer. The eruption had a maximum amplitude of 28 millimeters and a duration of 127 seconds, Chaniago informed.

"If rain ash occurs, people are suggested to wear nose, mouth (mask), and eye protection (goggles)," he said.

On May 16, 2024, the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources raised the status of Mount Ibu from Level III (alert) to Level IV (caution).

The decision to raise the status was made in view of an increase in the number of earthquakes and volcanic ash.

Communities around Mount Ibu and tourists have been asked to refrain from climbing the volcano or carrying out activities within a radius of four kilometers and a sector of seven kilometers from the direction of the crater opening in the northern part of the active crater, Chaniago informed.

Mount Ibu is a strato-type volcano with a peak height of 1,340 meters above sea level. It is located in Ibu sub-district, West Halmahera district, North Maluku province.

ANTARA

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