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Jakarta Post

Mount Agung eruption caused by gas buildup: Expert

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung   /   Mon, December 31, 2018   /   10:46 am
Mount Agung eruption caused by gas buildup: Expert A giant awakens: Thick smoke emanates from the crater of Mount Agung in Karangasem regency, Bali, during an eruption in 2017. (JP/Ni Komang Erviani)

The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has said the eruption of Mount Agung in Karangasem regency, Bali, on Saturday occurred because of the accumulation of volcanic gases.

“The eruption was caused by a buildup of gases,” PVMBG head Kasbani said in Bandung, West Java, on Sunday.

He further said volcanic gases and other materials such as rocks and hot lava were released from Mt. Agung’s crater during Saturday’s eruption, which also resulted in ash rain in surrounding areas. The potential for a bigger eruption is relatively small, he said.

As reported earlier, Mt. Agung erupted again at 4:09 a.m. local time Sunday, in which the PVMBG recorded that the eruption lasted three minutes and eight seconds and had a maximum amplitude of 22 millimeters. The agency declared the alert status of Mt. Agung to be Level III (watch) and the danger zone a 4-kilometer radius from the crater.

(Read also: Mount Agung erupts again)

Mt. Agung previously erupted on July 27. The volcano did not show any increase in activity over the next five months, resulting in the accumulation of volcanic materials in its crater that led to a build up of gases.

On July 29, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake occurred in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, which was followed by a string of aftershocks.

Kasbani said the tectonic quakes in Lombok led to the release of Mt. Agung's volcanic gases.  

“Indeed, an eruption can happen at any time. But for now, the condition [of Mt. Agung] is relatively stable,” said Kasbani. (ebf)