Indonesian tsunami volcano lost two-thirds of its height

Geraldine Edwards
December 31, 2018

Scientists say Indonesia's Anak Krakatau volcano island, which erupted and collapsed a week ago triggering a deadly tsunami, is now only about a quarter of its pre-eruption size. The agency estimated the volcano lost between 150 and 180 million cubic metres of material as massive amounts of rock and ash have been slowly sliding into the sea following the eruptions.

As of last Saturday, 431 people have been killed while more than 7,000 others were injured and another 15 are still missing.

The centre said in a press statement on December 29 that the volcano now stands 110 meters high, down from 338 m in recent months.

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The disaster agency said the emergency period for Banten province in Java ends January 9 and on Friday for Lampung province in Sumatra.

A section of the volcano, located in the Sunda Strait separating the islands of Java and Sumatra, collapsed into the ocean after the December 22 eruption, triggering the killer waves.

For Indonesia, 2018 has been a year characterized by natural disasters.

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Authorities have warned that the crater of Anak Krakatau, or child of Krakatoa, remains fragile, raising fears of another collapse and tsunami, and have urged residents to stay away from the coast.

Satellite photos aren't available because of cloud cover but radar images from a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency satellite taken before and after the eruption show the volcano's southwestern flank has disappeared.

Indonesia on Thursday raised the danger level for the island volcano and more than doubled its no-go zone to 5 kilometers (3 miles). The original volcano (known as Krakatau) was destroyed in a powerful eruption in 1883, which had the power of explosion around 200 megatons, which is 10,000 times bigger than the one that hit Hiroshima in the Second World War.

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Anak Krakatau began to exhibit signs of renewed activity back in July, but it has been particularly active during the last couple of weeks.

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