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Our Volcanic Cup Runneth Over

Volcanic Experts Predict Mount Agung Crater will Breach with Molten Lava Before 12 December 2017

(12/3/2017) Nusa Bali reports that large “overscale” earth tremors during the five-day period from November 28 – December 2, 2017 are interpreted by expert observers to mean that molten lava totaling 30 million cubic meters is currently contained within the volcano’s crater - an amount estimated at half the crater’s total carrying capacity of 60 million cubic meters in a crater with a diameter or 900 meters and a depth of 200 meters.

Volcanologists predict that sometime over the coming ten days through December 12, 2017, the molten lava will breach and overflow, most probably to the north where the craters wall is at its lowest.

The head of Center of Mitigation of Geologic Disasters (PVMBG), Gede Suantika, outlined the above scenario for an active eruption during a press conference held at Mount Agung Observation Post in Rendang, Karangasem on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

Sunatika explained that over the five days starting from Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the reservoir of molten lava building within the volcano is causing the nighttime illumination of the clouds of steam emanating above the mountain. “If the overscale tremors continue, in the next ten days the crater will become filled with molten lava and spill over the northern side of the crater,” explained Suantika.

This scenario would bring rivers of lava to Desa Ban (Kubu Sub district) and Desa Dukuh (Kubu District). From there, the lava can be expected to flow to the coastal Village of Tulamben before flowing into the sea.

Gede Suantika warned that any eruption scenario remains possible, with lava flows potentially going in other directions. It is still also possible that the mountain will contain the lava and no eruption could occur if the current tremors suddenly subside.

Suantika confirmed that the mountain is now emitting some 3,000 tons of poisonous gasses comprised of sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Currently these clouds of gas rise and are diluted in the upper atmosphere.

Because of the threat of an eruption and the presence of poisonous gasses officials have ordered an evacuation zone measuring between 8 – 10 kilometers from Mount Agung’s peak.

On Saturday, December 2, 2107, during the 18-hour period between midnight and 6:00 pm, six deep volcanic earthquakes and nine shallow tremors were recorded on Mount Agung.