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Indonesian Erruption Forces Evacuation of 1300

timothy posted 1 year,19 days | from the evacuation-seems-like-a-good-plan dept.

Earth 36

ABC News reports that "A volcano in western Indonesia erupted again Sunday, unleashing volcanic ash high into the sky and forcing the evacuation of villagers living around its slope. Officials raised Mount Sinabung's alert status to the second-highest level after the 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) -high mountain erupted early Sunday, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Authorities were working to evacuate residents from four North Sumatra province villages located within the mountain's three-kilometer (two-mile) danger zone, Nugroho said. About 1,300 villagers have been relocated to safer areas so far. It was the volcano's second big eruption since late last month, with its Oct. 24 explosion prompting the evacuation of more than 3,300 people." This video of Sinabung's 2010 eruption gives some clue about what to expect.

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And I thought John Holmes was dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45323199)

No?

evacuation of people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45323215)

You can't evacuate 3,300 people. Well, you can - but that is not what you want to say here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5d82ndui_s

Re:evacuation of people (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,19 days | (#45323243)

v.intr.
1. To withdraw from or vacate a place or area, especially as a protective measure.

"Err"uption (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45323225)

To err-upt is volcano.

Re:"Err"uption (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45323321)

Mod parent up for great justice.

Re:"Err"uption (2)

game kid (805301) | 1 year,19 days | (#45323347)

The Slashdot team works all day, erry day. You should give them more credit.

Re:"Err"uption (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45323435)

Credit? They're getting his 2 cents worth.

Re:"Err"uption (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,18 days | (#45325465)

Getting "2 cents" worth is last century. Today, we say getting 0.00009132420092 bitcoin worth (and climbing).

Re:"Err"uption (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45323511)

The Slashdot team works all day, erry day.

Kid, if you think that's work, you're in for a rude surprise in a few years....

Re:"Err"uption (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | 1 year,18 days | (#45323517)

The Slashdot team works all day, erry day. You should give them more crredit.

FTFY

Re:"Err"uption (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45323411)

To err-upt is to vulcanize.

Re:"Err"uption (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,18 days | (#45324347)

To err-upt is volcano.

To be honest, I was tempted to misread it at "A volcano in western Indonesia erupted again sundae", and I though "you're running in the wrong direction, morons!".

Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45323267)

Don't live next to a volcano. That's on the list of things not to do.

Re:Nope. (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,18 days | (#45324093)

While you'd get quite the opposite impression (and effect) from the ashfall immediately following an eruption, volcanic soils that have had some time to weather a bit and regain their organic and biological components tend to be pretty rich. Assuming that eruptions don't happen too often, easier farming and occasional disruption beats the alternative.

It's sort of like telling people not to live next to rivers. Sure, they flood on occasion, and that sucks; but the rest of the time that's where the trade, fishing, and relatively steady water supply is.

Now, you would probably be better off not building a city on, or close to, a volcano. You wont' be getting much agriculture done in an urban environment, and those things can be expensive to rebuild.

Re:Nope. (2)

Sockatume (732728) | 1 year,18 days | (#45324137)

I'm curious as to why volcanic soils are so fertile. A quick google suggests that it's just that they happen to be enriched with particular minerals but I'd love to hear some more detail if a slashdotter knows some of the chemistry.

Re:Nope. (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,18 days | (#45325487)

Volcanic soils are extremely rich in electrolytes. It's what plants crave.

Re:Nope. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,18 days | (#45325973)

I'm afraid that I know essentially nothing about what plants crave; but this [usgs.gov] has 'Table showing concentrations of leachable constituents in ashfall from historic eruptions (all concentrations in mg/kg)'

My assumption would be that, given that ash consists of mineral/glass particles, of varying sizes(but all pretty small), it has excellent surface area, and so provides a fast-enough-to-be-useful (unlike larger rocks and bedrock); but long-lasting-enough that it counts as a soil property (rather than just a sprinkling of Miracle-Gro).

As for which of those components are vital and would otherwise limit plant growth, which are neutral, and which are harmful, I'm afraid you'd need somebody who knows something about plant biology, or gardening.

Obviously, in the short term, the mixture of mechanical suffocation and nontrivial emissions of sulfur compounds that crater the pH, is Not Helpful for crop yields, so you can pretty much write off at least that season, if not longer; but apparently the 'moonscape' appearance wears off pretty quickly.

Re:Nope. (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | 1 year,18 days | (#45330961)

Plants take nutrients from the soil. The primary need of plants is water, nitrogen, and carbon, which they get from CO2 in the air, not from carbon in the soil, but there are many other necessary elements available only in the soil. Only need traces of these elements, but if there is no mechanism to replenish the soils, eventually, the soil will have too little of some vital nutrient for plants to grow. Mechanisms that replenish nutrients are decay of dead plants, floods, burrowing animals, glaciation, mountain building through uplift and subsequent erosion, and volcanism. In short, most anything that changes the soil. Wind is more of a variable agent, in some cases bringing in nutrient rich dust, in other cases stripping nutrient rich topsoil away. Most of those methods need water. Also may need to flush salts from the soil, which accumulate in dry places with high rates of evaporation. Australia shows what happens when soil isn't replenished well. The soil there is very old, and most of the continent is desert. For millions of years, there has been no volcanism or glaciation in Australia, and little of the other mechanisms thanks to the lack of rainfall. Even in many places where there is enough rain there are still mineral deficiencies. Sheep need fortified diets, and become sick if they don't get it. There was an area known as the 90 mile desert where plants would not grow, despite the rainfall being sufficient. Turned out the soil there had practically no selenium.

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45327107)

Now, you would probably be better off not building a city on, or close to, a volcano. You wont' be getting much agriculture done in an urban environment, and those things can be expensive to rebuild.

Cities are rarely built ex nihlo, Las Vegas notwithstanding. You build a city where a large town is, and you build a large town where a small town is, and you build a small town where a village is, and you build a village where settlements are, and you build settlements where there's fertile farmland.

Re:Nope. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,18 days | (#45330449)

Oh, I'm not saying that it doesn't happen for good historical reasons. Just that, unlike agricultural communities on volcanoes (which, with occasional inconveniences and/or mass-death-by-hot-toxic-gasses incidents, actually makes sense overall), cities on volcanoes don't have any compensatory advantages. As you say, you don't really get to choose where cities go (even wacky authoritarian central planners can choose where to build a new city; but they can't keep them from being a ghost town much of the time), so it isn't as though any particular person screwed up in any useful sense.

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45328465)

You have to weigh a lot of factors. Here in California you are subjected to floods and fires every season. A major earthquake happens every 30 or 40 years along a major fault. Historic volcanism has been much less frequent. All of California's volcanic areas are rural and VERY CHEAP compared to major cities. For the cost of one Bay Area condo, you could have several volcanic area houses. Unemployment is terrible there though, so you get this odd mix of retirees, pot growers, meth, people on public assistance, some agriculture and timber, and a government and private service economy to service the other sectors. Weird conservative/liberal/libertarian conflict hilarity ensues.

In the words of the great George Carlin (2, Insightful)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | 1 year,19 days | (#45323291)

"They build their houses right next to active volcanoes, and then wonder why there is lava in the living room."

Re:In the words of the great George Carlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45323319)

Whoosh

Re:In the words of the great George Carlin (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,19 days | (#45323397)

Seattle, Auckland, Rabaul - need I go on? How about San Francisco for a bit of variety?

Re:In the words of the great George Carlin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45323655)

The impacts of a changing climate – including increased extreme weather, floods, and droughts – affect EPA’s work to protect clean air and water. The draft Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans recognize that EPA must integrate climate adaptation planning into its programs, policies, rules, and operations to ensure that the agency’s work continues to be effective even as the climate changes.

“To meet our mission of protecting public health and the environment, EPA must help communities adapt to a changing climate,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These Implementation Plans offer a roadmap for agency work to meet that responsibility, while carrying out President Obama’s goal of preparing the country for climate-related challenges.”

Re:In the words of the great George Carlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45330831)

Dunedin's also built on one, but it is regarded as extinct. From what I understand, though, there's not really such a thing as an extinct volcano, just one that hasn't erupted "for a while." (Anybody know if that's true? The volcano here apparently hasn't erupted in a few million years.)

Re:In the words of the great George Carlin (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | 1 year,18 days | (#45323593)

Until 2010 it was a dormant volcano, and that sequence of eruptions resulted in no casulaties; in the odds game that is risk management, was not totally irrational to move back into the area.

Re:In the words of the great George Carlin (4, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | 1 year,18 days | (#45323931)

"They build their houses right next to active volcanoes, and then wonder why there is lava in the living room."

It's almost as dumb as building them at the bottom of a gravity well and then worrying about meteors falling in and wrecking the place up.

That volcano has a bad efficiency... (3, Interesting)

gentryx (759438) | 1 year,18 days | (#45323585)

Slightly off-topic, but this reminded me of how yesterday 20000 people were evacuated in Dortmund [cbsnews.com] (one of Germany's larger cities). And it didn't even need a full-fledged volcano to prompt this: a mere 4000 pounds, ~70 years old air mine was enough. Stuff like this is (still) daily business in Germany, though. They are still far from having cleared up all duds.

Re:That volcano has a bad efficiency... (3, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | 1 year,18 days | (#45324149)

I think if a volcano erupted in Dortmund there'd be a lot more than 20,000 people evacuated. Don't be so rough on the poor thing for happening to be in a thinly-populated area.

Exactly! (1)

gentryx (759438) | 1 year,18 days | (#45325435)

In Dortmund this volcano would be so much more power efficient! It should definitely be moved. Plus, winter is coming, so the locals would be able to save a bit on the heating.

Why do people in Indonesia live near Volcanos? (1, Informative)

Znarl (23283) | 1 year,18 days | (#45323715)

Indonesia is a very corrupt country from heads of government to local school teachers. There is no planning permissions needed to build a house. Indonesians just clear the forest, put up a house and bribe government officials away if they start asking the right questions. There's also 172 active volcanos in Indonesia and 300 million people.

Also the local population tend to have a great deal in faith in the protection of God from natural disasters. When natural disasters strike Indonesians tend to believe it's punishment from God. Boxing day Tsunami which hit North Sumatra near this volcano is still seen as punishment from God for western ideas and practices, such as drinking.

This Volcano is 25kms away from Lake Toba, a very beautiful fresh water lake with many tourist resorts.

Re:Why do people in Indonesia live near Volcanos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45323779)

This Volcano is 25kms away from Lake Toba, a very beautiful fresh water lake with many tourist resorts.

So... you answered your own question?

Re:Why do people in Indonesia live near Volcanos? (1)

rossdee (243626) | 1 year,18 days | (#45325907)

"This Volcano is 25kms away from Lake Toba, a very beautiful fresh water lake with many tourist resorts."

Hmmm I wondr how that lake was formed, maybe there was a supervolcano there, I think I read something about that.
(Biggest eruption in the last million years or something.

Anyway its not just Indonesians that live near volcanos , Lake Taupo is also a tourist attraction, and people also live there, and near the 3 active volcanos (Ruapehu, Tongario and Ngaruhoe ) in the centre of The North Island of NZ

Sumatra (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45324597)

My second year geography teacher was nearing retirement and a little crazy. Every time he mentioned the islands of Sumatra the whole class had to stand and croon "dooby dooby dooby doo", in honour of Frank.

Crazy old Mr Newton.

"Erruption".......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45324899)

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