Shades of Pinatubo?
A volcano in western Indonesia spewed hot lava and sand high into the sky early Sunday in its first eruption in 400 years.
Government volcanologist Surono, who uses only one name, said Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province started rumbling a few days ago and the minor morning eruption has mostly stopped.
It sent sand and ash up to a mile (1.5 kilometers) high but lava only moved near its crater. It caused no major damage and “only dust covered plants and trees,” he said.
He said Mount Sinabung last erupted in 1600, so observers don’t know the volcano’s eruption pattern and are monitoring it closely for more activity.
Evacuations on the volcano’s slopes started Friday at the first signs of activity. Up to 10,000 people who fled are staying in government buildings, houses of worship and other evacuation centers in two nearby towns.
The government has distributed 7,000 masks to refugees and set up public kitchens so people can cook food, said Priyadi Kardono, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.
Life as a refugee isn’t easy financially or emotionally. I have small experience with it after three hurricanes passed through South Florida in 2004 and 2005 and without AC my home is about impossible to live in. Yes I’m spoiled but I have serious health issues also.
Back to Sinabung. I’m surprised she erupted without some scientist suspecting it was coming. Volcanos along the Ring of Fire are monitored but perhaps Sinabung’s inactivity caused it to be overlooked. Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines was estimated not to have erupted in 450 years before it blew its top in 1991. Sometimes the longer a volcano is quiet, the bigger the eruption.