According to scientists, there are about 900 active volcanoes on the Earth’s surface. There are especially many of them on the territory of Indonesia – this country is located in the most seismically active zone of our planet and there are about 400 active volcanoes on its territory. The most active among them is Merapi, which is also known as the “Doomsday Volcano”. It smokes almost every day, and from time to time it begins to spew lava from itself. Recently, on March 11, 2023, the Merapi volcano began to erupt especially strongly. Locals have started sharing a video on social media showing a tall ash column that looks like the eruption could pose a big threat. Is this really so, or should people not be afraid of anything? Perhaps the Doomsday volcano got its name for a reason?
The height of the Merapi volcano and its features
Doomsday Volcano is located on the Indonesian island of Java, near the city of Yogyakarta. Its height is 2910 meters, so it can be seen from afar – it is also especially noticeable because of the smoke constantly coming from the vent. It is believed that the Merapi volcano was formed in the Pleistocene era, when mammoths, woolly rhinos, cave lions and other already extinct animals lived on Earth. It was formed due to the subsidence of the Australian lithospheric plate under the Eurasian plate. In addition to it, there are 129 more active volcanoes in Indonesia. The remaining volcanoes in the country are considered extinct.
Вулкан Мерапи считается самым опасным в Индонезии. А самым необычным вулканом в мире можно назвать Иджен. Чем он примечателен, рассказал мой коллега Андрей Жуков в этом материале.
Mount Merapi eruption in 2023
Merapi volcano is constantly smoking. Small eruptions occur approximately twice a year, while large eruptions occur on average once every 7 years.
In 2023, he began to erupt “in a serious way”, it began on March 11. Local residents shared footage of a high column of smoke above the volcano – calculations show that it rises 7 kilometers. Lava began to erupt from the vent, and at the time of this writing, the streams of hot volcanic mass managed to spread for 1.5 kilometers.
Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency has rated Mount Merapi a 3 out of four possible hazard. Residents of nearby settlements have already been warned about the danger of lava and hot clouds – you should not approach the volcano more than 7 kilometers away. But there is no talk of evacuating the population at the moment. Residents of nearby cities will be taken out only if lava flows spread over a distance of 7 kilometers or more.
A selection of videos of the eruption of the volcano Merapi in Indonesia
В 2022 году на Гавайях произошло мощное извержение вулкана Мауна-Лоа. У нас есть подборка фотографий этого явления.
Why is Merapi called the Doomsday volcano?
Merapi volcano got such a formidable name because one of its eruptions can cause serious problems around the world. For example, after a powerful eruption of the Doomsday volcano, climate anomalies may occur on Earth, followed by crises in the global economy and even famine. Indeed, if the sky is filled with dense smoke, in many parts of the world there may be problems with the harvest, and people will have nothing to eat.
As mentioned above, the eruptions of the Merapi volcano occur about once every 7 years. According to historical documents, in 1006 due to spewing lava flows, the Javanese-Indian kingdom of Mataram was completely destroyed. Another powerful eruption occurred in 1673, as a result of which cities and villages located at the foot of the volcano were wiped off the face of our planet.
Powerful volcanic eruptions in Indonesia were also recorded in modern history. In 1930, Merapi caused the death of 1300 people, in 1974 the volcano destroyed two villages, and in 1975 – one large village and five bridges, taking the lives of 29 people. During the eruption in 2010, rescuers managed to evacuate 350 thousand people, but some of them returned – 353 people died from exposure to a mixture of volcanic gases, ash and rock debris.
It is noteworthy that several tourists and volcanologists also died on the Merapi volcano. The graves of some of them are located right on the slopes of the volcano.
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Based on everything written above, it turns out that the Merapi volcano can really be dangerous. However, at the moment there is no threat to the lives of the inhabitants of the island of Java. If something important happens, we will definitely tell you about it, so we advise you to subscribe to our Zen channel with announcements of new materials.