5 Devastating Volcanic Eruptions in Indonesia

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1 January 1970 07:00 WIB

Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano erupts as fishermen pull a boat onto the beach in Amed, Bali, November 26, 2017. Mount Agung eruption spewing volcanic ash as high as 6,142 meters above the sea level. REUTERS/Petra Simkova

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia, throughout its history of natural disasters, had experienced several devastating volcanic eruptions. The recent eruption took place in Bali where Mount Agung spewed 4,000-meter ash cloud to the atmosphere.

One of the most devastating volcanic eruptions happened when Mount Tambora erupted in 1815. It was considered as the worst eruption occurred on earth that reportedly killed more than 71,000 lives and disrupted the global weather pattern.

The second deadliest disaster happened when Mount Krakatoa erupted on August 27, 1883, releasing a series of huge explosions that annihilated the island of Krakatoa. According to official records, this eruption killed nearly 40,000 lives. 

In no particular order, the following are five of Indonesia’s devastating mountain eruptions that happened during the recent past. 

1. Mount Agung Eruption (1963)

Bali’s 3,142-meter high mountain erupted five times since the 1800s, specifically in 1808, 1821, 1843, 1963, and in 2017. Mount Agung’s 1963 magmatic eruption lasted for almost the whole year from February 18, 1963, to January 27, 1964, which caused the death of 1,148 people and injured 296 others, according to the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG). 

2. Mount Kelud (2014)

Mount Kelud in the East Java Island made global headlines after it spewed ash clouds 17 kilometers into the stratosphere. Its ash cloud traveled 300 kilometers covering Yogyakarta back in 2014, and the eruption killed three people.

3. Mount Galunggung (1982)

The eruption of Mount Galunggung in 1982 was accompanied by flashes of lightning for almost 10 months. According to Wikipedia records, the eruption killed 18 people. This eruption was the first eye-opener for the Airline industry regarding the danger of ash clouds.

A British Airways Boeing 747 entered its ash cloud on in 1982 that experienced a complete engine failure to four of its engine. Fortunately, the plane was later able to return back to Jakarta after the crew was able to restart its engines. 

4. Mount Merapi (2010)

Mount Merapi is one of the most active Indonesian mountains located near the Javanese city of Yogyakarta. Its close proximity to a major city accommodating 3,5 million people has been proved to be dangerous as the eruption in 2010 killed 353 people.

5. Mount Sinabung (2014)

In addition to this year, Mount Sinabung erupted in 2014 spewing ash clouds up to 2,000 kilometers to the sky. According to the PVMBG, Mount Sinabung’s eruption on February 1, 2014, killed 17 people. 14 of them died after being directly exposed to the ash clouds. Meanwhile, three other survivors had been hospitalized for sustaining injuries. 

RICKY M. NUGRAHA



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