Mount Sinabung (Indonesian: Gunung Sinabung, also Dolok Sinabung, Deleng Sinabung,Dolok Sinaboen, Dolok Sinaboeng and Sinabuna is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano of andesite and dacite in the Karo plateau of Karo Regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia, 25 miles from the Lake Toba supervolcano. Many old lava flows are on its flanks and the last known eruption, before recent times, occurred in the year 1600. Solfataric activities (cracks where steam, gas, and lava are emitted) were last observed at the summit in 1912; recent documented events include an eruption in the early hours of 29 August 2010 and eruptions in September and November 2013, January, February and October 2014. A pyroclastic flow in May 2016 killed 7 people. Between 2013 and 2014 the alert for a major event was increased with no significant activity. On 2 June 2015 the alert was again increased, and as of 26 June 2015 at least 10,000 people have been evacuated,fearing a major eruption. The long eruption of Mount Sinabung is similar to Mount Unzen in Japan, which erupted for five years after lying dormant for 200 years.
Mount Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano. It is located in a relatively cool area on a fertile plateau with mountains bounding the north. The summit crater of the volcano has a complex, longer form due to vents migrating on the N-S line. The 2,460 meter high andesitic-todacitic volcano comes from the Sunda Arc. This is created by the subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate under the Eurasian Plate. The Andaman Islands are on the North-Northwest bound of the arc while the Banda Arc is on the East. Sinabung has a total of four volcanic craters, one of them being active currently.
On 29 August 2010 (local time), the volcano experienced a minor eruption after several days of rumbling. Ash spewed into the atmosphere up to 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) high and lava was seen overflowing the crater. The volcano had been inactive for over four centuries, with the most recent eruption occurring in 1600. On 31 August 6,000 of the 30,000 villagers who had been evacuated returned to their homes. The volcano was assigned to category “B” In Indonesia, as it had been inactive for more than 400 years (volcanoes in category “A”, must be monitored frequently). The Indonesian Red Cross Society and the Health Ministry of Indonesia sent doctors and medicines to the region.The National Disaster Management Agency provided face masks and food to assist the evacuees
September 2010 – ongoing now
On Friday 3 September, two more eruptions were noted. The first happened at 4:45 am in the morning, forcing more villagers to leave their houses – some of them had just returned the day before. This eruption was the most intense so far, with ash spewed up into the atmosphere about 3.0 kilometres (1.9 mi) high. Some hours before the eruption a warning had been issued through the volcanology agency, and most villagers were prepared to leave quickly. A second eruption occurred the same evening, around 6 pm. The eruption came with earthquakes which could be noticed out to a 25.0 kilometres (15.5 mi) distance around the volcano
On Tuesday 7 September, Mount Sinabung erupted yet again, its biggest eruption yet since it had become active on 29 August 2010 and experts warned of more eruptions to come. Indonesia’s chief vulcanologist, Surono, said “It was the biggest eruption yet and the sound was heard from 8 kilometres away. The smoke was 5,000 metres in the air”. Heavy rain mixed with the ash to form muddy coatings, a centimetre thick, on buildings and trees. Electricity in one village was cut off, but there were no casualties
An ecosystem responds to volcanism in many different ways depending on the frequency, scale, and severity of the eruptions.] Furthermore, it can be assumed that the pyroclastic flow of the eruption that was an estimated 700 degrees in temperature killed much of the organic matter including plants and animals. As seen in the Mount St. Helens eruption, many insects would likely die due to the ash fall. This abrasion due to the ash causes quick desiccation. Although many insects may have survived from being in trees that were not torn down or deep in the ground, these insects may not live long after the event due to lack of resources. Many larger animals may not have been able to escape the flow in time. However, like at Mt. St. Helens, many of these animals could recover from pools of survivors and from invasion of other species.