What is the News?
Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung has erupted releasing a massive column of volcanic ash and smoke up to 3,000 metres(3 km) into the sky.
About Mount Sinabung:
- Mount Sinabung is located in North Sumatra in Indonesia. It is among more than 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. (Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific’s Ring of Fire).
- The volcano was dormant for 400 years before exploding in 2010. It exploded again in 2014 and 2016.
About Ring of Fire:
- The Ring of Fire also referred to as the Circum-Pacific Belt is a path along the Pacific Ocean. Its characteristics include active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
- Boundaries: It traces boundaries between several tectonic plates including Pacific, Cocos, Indian-Australian, Nazca, North American and Philippine Plates.
- 75% of Earth’s volcanoes i.e. more than 450 volcanoes are located along the Ring of Fire.
- 90% of Earth’s earthquakes occur along its path.
- The abundance of volcanoes and earthquakes along the Ring of Fire is due to the frequent movement of tectonic plates in this area.
What is Volcano?
- A volcano is an eruption in the earth’s crust through which the lava, volcanic ash and gases escape to release pressure.
Why Volcanic Eruption takes place?
- Magma is a thick flowing substance. Its formation happens during the melting of Earth’s crust and mantle.
- Volcanic eruption takes place when magma rises to the surface.
- As magma is lighter than rock, it is able to rise through vents and fissures on the surface of the earth. After the eruption, the magma is called lava.
Types of Volcanoes: Volcanoes are classified as active, dormant, or extinct:
- Active volcanoes have a recent history of eruptions. They are likely to erupt again.
- Dormant volcanoes have not erupted for a very long time but may erupt at a future time.
- Extinct volcanoes are not expected to erupt in the future.
Risk From Volcanic Eruptions:
- The most common cause of death from a volcano is suffocation. People with respiratory conditions such as asthma and other chronic lung diseases are susceptible to suffocation.
- People living close to the volcano or in low-lying downwind areas are also at higher risk in case of an explosion. As the ash may be coarse-grained and abrasive, even small particles can scratch the surface of the eyes.
- Further, volcanic eruptions can result in additional threats to health such as floods, mudslides, power outages, drinking water contamination and wildfires.
Source: Indian Express