A volcano in Indonesia close to an ancient volcano that once nearly destroyed humanity, is preparing to erupt, with authorities placing the area around it at the highest alert possible.
Sinabung volcano is currently blowing out hot smoke into the sky and sits just 35 kilometers from Toba volcano – a ‘supervolcano’ which put mankind on the brink of extinction 70,000 years ago, causing a nuclear winter on earth that lasted several years.
Locals have been evacuated from the area as a 1.5 mile-high column of gas and ash ominously warns of an impending eruption.
“The growing size of the lava dome is very unstable,” said government volcanologist Surono. That means there is a threat of a more powerful eruption, which could be accompanied by pyroclastic flows. This is the type of volcanic events which destroyed ancient Pompeii. The scientist urged villagers to stay out of a four-mile zone southeast of the crater.
On Wednesday, authorities registered over 50 separate eruptions. Last week, more than 2,700 people were evacuated from local villages. The government says there is no danger to people from non-evacuated areas at the moment.
Sinabung has been erupting from time to time since 2010, after more than 400 years of being dormant. In 2014, at least 17 people were killed by Sinabung eruptions.