Yet another reason why I fear volcanoes. This “killer” volcano, not to be confused with the super volcano that lies under Yellowstone national park that is believed to be able to destroy half of the U.S.A in a matter of days, has about the same impact world wide. Last time that it erupted in 1815, it killed more than 71,000 people that lived in the immediate area. The volcano also sent the world into a volcanic winter that caused the worlds most destructive famine of the 19th century. In layman’s terms: If this bad boy goes off today… we will ALL feel the impact.
The worst part? This volcano is getting ready to go off again…
This volcano is called Mount Tambora it’s located in an Indonesian Island called Sumbawa and while you may think that the island is pretty far away to cause any real danger, it will surprise you to know that while this volcano is not the strongest volcano in the world, it is the one that is credited by the most kills – in history.
It’s been nearly 200 years since the Mount Tambora erupted back in the spring of 1815. When the eruption happened, the entire caldera collapsed and completely obliterated Sumbawa. Over 90% of the island’s population was destroyed in an instant as all the vegetation was pushed into the sea leaving nothing but a deserted island and ashes. The debris that landed in the ocean created a 3 mile long piece of floating ash that looked like an extension of the island. According to Wikipedia, the eruption shook the ground so violently that it caused massive tsunamis that damaged the neighboring island. So even the people that were running away from the volcano were injured in their escape.
You may think, why didn’t they just leave further? well, even if they did leave to another country, the volcano’s eruption affected the entire world. The ash from this volcano explodes into a giant column, rather than sideways, and the column reached 43 kilometers in height, this height put the ash right into our stratosphere. Once the ash gets into the stratosphere it sits there floating around effectively blocking some of the light of the sun which killed crops, animals, and even humans due to the worst volcanic winter.
The year following the eruption was met with a climate change that no one had experienced before. Summer never came to the people of 1816 and the temperatures were so cold that the USA was getting snow well into July. There was a global shortage of food and people were dying along the norther hemisphere due to the cold temperatures.
So why am I talking about this? well, Mount Tambora has been an active volcano since the eruption. Earlier this year, volcano experts began to feel small earthquakes. The quakes were anywhere between 1-5 a month and really was nothing to worry about. However, this month has had over 200 quakes and large columns, 4600 fee high, have been exiting the caldera. The citizens have already taken refuge in other islands and the caldera is being watched by several people. The authorities have blocked of a 2 mile perimeter and no one is allowed into this danger zone.
Let’s hope for the love of god that the volcano lost it’s strength from the previous explosion.