Satellite images show extent of Indonesian volcano's collapse

New satellite images show the extent of the changes caused by the collapse of the Indonesian volcano which c...

Posted: Jan 3, 2019 11:22 AM
Updated: Jan 3, 2019 11:22 AM

New satellite images show the extent of the changes caused by the collapse of the Indonesian volcano which caused a tsunami in late December last year.

Photos taken by Planet Labs satellites show the Anak Krakatau volcano both before and after the December 22 eruption, which caused a 64-hectare (158-acre) chunk of the volcano's cone to slide into the ocean.

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Additional eruptions the following week also caused the volcano to lose volume of 150 million to 180 million cubic meters (5.3 billion to 6.4 billion cubic feet), the report said.

Its volume is now 40 million to 70 million cubic meters (1.4 billion to 2.5 billion cubic feet), Indonesia's Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said in a report.

The volcano, which is located around 50 kilometers west of the Indonesian province of Java, lost two-thirds of its height following the eruption and subsequent collapse, according to the Center's report.

The volcano's height went from 338 meters (1,108 feet) above sea level to 110 meters (360 feet).

Dangerous conditions

The eruption came at high tide during a full moon, with the Sunda Strait, which runs between Java and Sumatra, also having a spell of high rainfall, government and rescue agencies said.

These factors led to a wave 3 meters (10 feet) high crashing through the Strait, sweeping beachfront homes and hotels away and killing at least 426 people, according to Indonesian authorities, who had slightly revised down an earlier figure of 430 casualties.

Indonesian authorities have been roundly criticized for the state of the country's tsunami detection and warning system, which has been largely out of action since at least 2012.

The country's president, Joko Widodo, ordered the country's Meteorology, Climatology and Geological Agency to purchase tsunami detectors "that can provide early warnings to community."

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