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Indonesia

Indonesian volcano Anak Krakatoa lost two-thirds of its height in deadly eruption

  • The volcano now stands 110 metres high, down from 338 metres in recent months, having lost 150-170 million cubic metres of volume
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 December, 2018, 11:17pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 December, 2018, 11:17pm

Indonesia’s Anak Krakatoa, 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 on Saturday.

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

According to the centre, which is based in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, the position of Anak Krakatoa’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, triggering underwater landslides that generated a tsunami which hit the nearby coastlines of Java and Sumatra.

Indonesia counts the cost of 2018’s wave of natural disasters

A total of 431 people are confirmed to have died as of Saturday evening, with 15 others still missing and 7,202 injured. Nearly 47,000 people have been displaced.

The volcanology agency also said Anak Krakatoa has lost between 150 million and 170 million cubic metres of its volume, with only between 40 million and 70 million cubic metres 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 centre 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 kilometres of the peak.

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

It is the product of the infamous Krakatoa, 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 Anak Krakatoa, or “Child of Krakatoa.”

Krakatoa’s massive eruption in 1883 rocked the world