It really does seem like the earth’s volcanoes are very angry lately. A new volcano erupted in Japan recently, creating a new island. And, that volcano is making the brand new island bigger and bigger with each nasty spew of molten rock. According to researchers, it really is hard to say how long this island will actually stick around. If the volcano keeps erupting, it could continue for quite some time and keep building up; but, if the volcano stops, it could just erode away from the ocean’s currents. Volcanologists say about 80 percent of the earth’s volcanoes erupt underwater without us even knowing about it, but it really is a pretty awesome site to see when scientists get a chance to video tape them.
Then what about Mount Etna? Europe’s most active volcano is spitting her fire again. The volcanic ash is dusting Taormina and the mountain slopes that are dotted with small towns here and there. No evacuations had to occur, but authorities did close a highway temporarily for precautionary reasons, as well as some air ways; but air traffic was not interrupted at least.
Now Indonesia seems to be on hot alert as well. After small puffs of smoke were seen with a few small eruptions over the past few days, Indonesia has now declared a high alert for any serious eruptions that could occur within the volcanoes. Mount Sinabung has been spewing forth ashes and bits of gravel as high as 16,400 feet into the air and searing gas down its slopes 1.2 miles like it’s having a party. This rumbling mountain of 8,530 feet has been erupting since September after a three-year long, sleepy dormancy.
The dangerous part of this high alert in Indonesia is due to all the searing, hot gas that keeps spewing down the volcano’s slopes toward civilization. Evacuees are numbering around 12,300 from eight little vulnerable villages. And now these villagers sit in government camps away from any of the fiery rage the volcano keeps dealing out. Before that, 6,000 people were rushed to safety in 16 locations.
The local airports had to be told of the volcanic activity in order to stay away from traveling routes that were near the smoking mountains. Sadly, since the last eruption on August 2010, the volcanoes have forced a total of 30,000 people to run for their lives in order to try to find some sort of shelter from the searing, poisonous gases and scorching debris.
Mount Sinabung is one of 129 active volcanoes in the Indonesian area. The whole area is actually prone to seismic upheavals due to where Indonesia sits today in the Pacific Ocean. It is actually called the “Ring of Fire,” due to the volcanoes that form an arc as well as the many fault lines that dot the Pacific Basin.
So, Indonesians really could say that the volcanoes around the world are extremely angry, as they wait and see if Mount Sinabung will erupt, destroying homes, causing injuries and possibly taking lives.
By Tina Elliott