10 Crazy Images Show What Happens When a Massive Volcano Explodes
Indonesia's Mount Sinabung has erupted more than 220 times over the past week and a half, leading to the evacuation of more than 22,000 individuals. While the volcano has been releasing bursts of ash since September, its activity has escalated since the beginning of the year, causing pyroclastic flows, which consist of exceptionally hot gas and rocks, to glide miles down the southeast side of the mountain.
Fortunately, Indonesia's disaster management agency is no stranger to coping with volcanic eruptions. Located on the Pacific's Ring of Fire, the island nation is home to 142 volcanoes. More than 30 of those are located on the large island of Sumatra, where Mount Sinabung lies. Thanks to the agency's evacuations, no direct casualties have been reported from the most recent eruptions, although the disruption to local lives has been significant nonetheless. Interestingly, prior to 2010, Mount Sinabung had not erupted since 1600.
Words alone cannot adequately convey the scale or force of the mountain's instability, or how it has already changed the surrounding landscape. Here are some of the most striking images to come out of the geological event.