Mapping Armageddon: FORTY volcanoes around the world are potential ‘Anak Krakatoa’ eruptions and threaten millions with devastating tsunamis

Thursday, April 11, 2019
By Paul Martin

Anak Krakatau’s eruption dumped 392 million cubic yards of rock into the sea
On neighbouring coasts tsunamis killed 437 people and left 14,000 injured
Experts created detailed simulations of how the eruption set off the tidal waves
They found that Anak Krakatau is not alone in its potential for devastation
Findings demonstrate a’lack of preparedness’ in countries threatened by tsunamis, experts warn

11 April 2019

Forty volcanoes around the world could potentially trigger enormous tidal waves similar in size and strength to the devastating tsunami that killed 437 people in Indonesia last year.

Studying the eruption of Anak Krakatau, new simulations are helping researchers to better understand how the island’s explosion set off the catastrophic event.

With millions living in potentially affected coastal regions, the findings highlight the need to improve disaster warning systems to account for volcano-triggered tsunamis, experts conclude.

On December 22, 2018, the volcanic island of Anak Krakatau, located in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, violently erupted following half a year of simmering volcanic activity.

During the eruption, two thirds of the original volcanic island disappeared into the sea, with a total of 392 million cubic yards (300 million cubic metres) of rock being dislodged into the ocean.

Submarine landslides such as this one disturb the water in the ocean, generating a tsunami wave.

The tidal wave crossed the Sunda Strait – the body of water separating the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra – in a matter of minutes.

On arrival in Java, the tsunami had reached wave heights of up to 43 feet (13 metres).

The death toll reached 437 people and around 14,000 more were injured when the tsunami hit shore on the neighbouring provinces of Banten and Lampung.

In total, around 33,000 people were displaced following the disaster.

This makes Anak Krakatau the deadliest volcanic eruption of the 21st century.

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