TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Check this out! A volcano in Indonesia’s East Java province erupted Saturday, Jan. 16, spewing ash and smoke as high as an estimated 3.5 miles into the sky, according to data from the geological agency at the country’s energy ministry.
Semeru Volcano erupted just after 5 p.m. local time. Videos posted on social media showed grey pyroclastic clouds towering over homes and structures.
Indonesia is located in The Ring of Fire, a region around much of the rim of the Pacific Ocean where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country in the world; and while many show high levels of activity, it can be weeks or even months before an eruption.
Volcanologists classify Semeru as a stratovolcano, meaning it’s structured in a conical shape and is more explosive than others, such as shield volcanoes which do not have a pointed shape and resemble domes.
The country’s disaster mitigation agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the possibility of evacuation.
Other volcanoes, such as the Merapi volcano on the island of Java and Sinabung on Sumatra, have shown signs of activity recently.
One of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in Indonesia was on April 17, 1815, when the Tambora Volcano in Sumbawa Island killed almost 100,000 people during and after it’s first explosion in thousands of years.
Scientists say Tambora expelled so much pyroclastic ash that the sun was not seen for several days.