Happy NY to All.
While I was watching the Sydney Harbour Fireworks this morning, it was nosiy, colourful and spectacular. Oh the weather here this morning at Bradfield is spectacular too.
The exploding fireworks reminded me of something of my personal interest, the volcanoes. It also jolted me something of a blast from the past, something that i wrote a while back for Margo Kingston’s Webdiary. Especially with the number of earthquakes in 2011 in NZ, Japan, Turkey etc as earthquakes and volcanoes are closely linked as by-products of the tectonic plate movements and clashes.
This is an extract just for the fun of it:
Indonesia’s 13,000 islands string across the equator. It is blessed with breathtaking beauties and an abundance of natural resources. It is so fertile that anything would grow naturally and luxuriantly, because it has many of nature’s own fertiliser factories, the volcanoes. Volcano eruptions are nature’s way of replenishing the earth with new topsoil and minerals. Sub-sea eruptions are nature’s way of building new islands and continents. Without them, life is not sustainable.
Indonesia has more volcanoes than any other country in the world. There are more than 60 volcanoes in Indonesia with the majority located on the island of Sumatra, Java and the eastern islands from Bali to Timor. The most well known is Krakatau, which erupted famously at 10am, August 27, 1883.
Krakatau was an island of 47 sq kms in the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java. It blew itself away in 1883. The wave it caused wiped out 163 villages and killed 36,380 people. Pumice was thrown 55 km high and dust fell 5330 km away 10 days later. The explosion was recorded four hours later on the island of Rodrigues, 4776 km away, as the roar of heavy guns and was heard in over one thirteenth of the surface of the globe. Krakatau was famous because it happened at the beginning of the telegraphic age.
Simon Winchester’s excellent book Krakatau: The day the World exploded describes how a local Sufi mystic Haji Abdul Karim had stirred the local people with his prediction that the Infidels would bring “earthquakes, hours without sun, giant waves and the end of the world”. So the Krakatau eruption was attributed to the first “jihad” attack on the westerners in Indonesia. In October 2, 1883, two months after the eruption, a young Dutch soldier who was part of the disaster relief regiment was stabbed to death by a bearded man dressed entirely in white and armed with a curved dagger. The same thing was repeated six weeks later.
Famous as it was, Krakatau was not the largest eruption from Indonesian volcanoes. The largest was attributed to the eruption that created the beautiful Lake Toba of North Sumatra next to Aceh. It was the last truly giant eruption on earth and occurred 74,000 years ago. It ejected into the atmosphere some 2,800 cubic kilometres (ckms) of ash, pyroclastic material and lava bombs, blocked sun radiation and reduced global temperature. In comparison, the recent Mt. St. Helens eruption ejected only 1 ckms, Katmai of Alaska 10 ckms, Krakatau 20 ckms, Lake Taupo NZ 80 ckms and Mt. Tambora 150 ckms. So 3 of the top 5 volcanic eruptions occurred in Indonesian volcanoes.
The Tambora (located on the Island of Sumbawa, between Bali & Timor) eruption was the most violent eruption in modern times. It began in early April 1815 and continuing till the middle of July 1815. Its immediate explosion effects were felt over an immense area, embracing the Maluku Islands, Java, and portions of Sulawesi, Sumatra, and Kalimantan. 92,000 deaths were reported. Tambora spewed sulphur-rich gases that rose to a height of 28 miles and created a giant sun filter in the northern hemisphere that caused the spring and summer of 1816 to be extremely cold across Europe and North America as described earlier. It was called the year without summer and caused food famine & riots in the Northern Hemisphere.
G’Day to ALL