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Indonesian volcano lost two-thirds of its height

December 29, 2018

Indonesia’s Mt. Anak Krakatau, an active volcano whose eruption last weekend triggered a deadly tsunami, has lost over two-thirds of its height, the country’s volcanology agency said Saturday.

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said in a press statement that the volcano now stands 110 meters high, down from 338 m in recent months.

According to the center, which is based in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, the position of Mt. Anak Krakatau’s peak is now lower than the nearby islands of Sertung and Panjang.

The eruption of the volcano last Saturday caused the southwestern flank of its caldera to collapse, causing underwater landslides that triggered a tsunami that hit nearby coastlines of Java and Sumatra.

A total of 426 people are confirmed to have died as of Friday, down from 430 two days earlier, with 23 others still missing and 7,202 injured. More than 40,000 people have been displaced.

The volcanology agency also said Mt. Anak Krakatau has lost between 150 million and 170 million cubic meters of its volume, with only between 40 million and 70 million cubic meters remaining. The loss, it said, was caused by the high eruption rate between Monday and Thursday.

Given the volcano’s remaining low volume, the agency said the possibility of another tsunami being triggered by an eruption is low.

On Thursday, the center raised the alert status of the volcano due to increased activity to Level 3, one notch below the highest level. It recommended that locals and tourists not be allowed within a radius of 5 kilometers of the peak.

Volcanic activity at Mt. Anak Krakatau has been on the increase since June, with almost daily eruptions.

It is the product of the infamous Krakatau, whose tsunami-triggering eruption in 1883 was one of the largest of modern times, killing more than 36,000 people and leaving a massive crater in which grew Mt. Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatau.”


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