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Indonesia’s Mount Merapi Erupts

In a devastating turn of events, at least 11 hikers have been confirmed dead following the eruption of Mount Marapi in western Indonesia. Here were a total of 75 hikers on the mountain who rescue workers were trying to account for. Twelve were still missing and 49 had descended, some of whom had been taken to hospital.

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi Erupts

Why In News

  • In a devastating turn of events, at least 11 hikers have been confirmed dead following the eruption of Mount Marapi in western Indonesia.
  • Here were a total of 75 hikers on the mountain who rescue workers were trying to account for. Twelve were still missing and 49 had descended, some of whom had been taken to hospital.
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Mount Merapi

  • Mount Marapi on the island of Sumatra, with a peak of 2,891 metres (9,484 feet), erupted sending a tower of ash 3,000 metres into the sky.
  • Marapi is on the second alert level of Indonesia’s four-step system and authorities have imposed a three-kilometre exclusion zone around its crater.
  • Indonesia sits on the Pacific’s so-called “Ring of Fire” and has 127 active volcanoes, according to the country’s volcanology agency, including the 2,891-metre (about 9,500 ft) Mount Marapi.
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  • Mount Merapi, at 2,891 metres, is called the Fire Mountain in Indonesia and Java.
  • Located on the border between the Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, it is considered the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548.
  • The Indonesian archipelago, situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, experiences heightened volcanic and seismic activity due to the convergence of continental plates.
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  • Along much of the Ring of Fire, plates overlap at convergent boundaries called subduction zones.
  • That is, the plate that is underneath is pushed down, or subducted, by the plate above.
  • As rock is subducted, it melts and becomes magma. The abundance of magma so near to Earth’s surface gives rise to conditions ripe for volcanic activity.
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  • A significant exception is the border between the Pacific and North American Plates.
  • This stretch of the Ring of Fire is a transform boundary, where plates move sideways past one another. This type of boundary generates a large number of earthquakes as tension in Earth’s crust builds up and is released.

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