Bali volcano explodes as high as 3 miles into the sky

An increasing number of smaller, highly explosive eruptions at Mount Agung volcano in Bali sent an ash cloud as high as 3 kilometers (about 2 miles) into the sky on Monday.

And the eruption could have been much more serious, according to Dr. Andrew Kouros, an earth science professor from the University of Wollongong in Australia. Kouros said Agung’s trigger was likely “quite heavy rain,” which caused the lightning that lit up the volcano.

“Small explosive eruptions send small clouds of ash and vapor high up into the sky which sometimes can be luminous,” Kouros said.

“Large explosions are really more like dynamite,” he said. “Highly explosive eruptions happen in thunderstorms and heat energy from eruptions causes lightning.”

The Italian and Swiss National archives showed that this type of eruption, named a Mohaweinser, was also observed before the height of Mount Agung’s eruption in 1963. More than 1,100 people were killed in that eruption.

The Indonesian Institute of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation on Monday said the volcano still posed a “danger,” although all current evacuation orders had been lowered.

A large cloud of ash began rising from Mount Agung around 8:30 p.m. Monday, Indonesian time, and the visibility in some areas was reduced to a few meters (feet). Eyewitnesses reported visibility was reduced to as little as 150 meters (about 500 feet) in Bali’s northern districts of Ngurah Rai International Airport, which was closed on Sunday because of the danger posed by the plume.

Scientists at the institute said thousands of villagers are still camping in temporary shelters, about 600 of whom stayed in their homes because they felt safe living near the volcano.

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.

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