From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Merapi Volcano
Mains level : Pacific ring of fire
Indonesia’s second most active Merapi volcano suddenly erupted, spewing hot lava and a column of hot clouds rising 100 metres into the air.
- Merapi is an active volcano located in Central Java, Indonesia. Its name means “Mountain of Fire” in the Javanese language.
- It is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in the world, with a history of frequent and sometimes violent eruptions.
- The last major eruption occurred in 2010, which resulted in the deaths of over 350 people and caused widespread damage to nearby villages.
- Despite the risks, Merapi is a popular destination for hikers and tourists who come to marvel at its stunning beauty and geological significance.
Other active volcanoes in Indonesia
Indonesia is home to many active volcanoes, with over 120 active volcanoes located across the country. Some of the other major volcanoes in Indonesia include:
- Mount Krakatoa – Located in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra. It is infamous for its 1883 eruption, which was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history.
- Mount Rinjani – Located on the island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara province. It is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and a popular destination for trekkers and hikers.
- Mount Tambora – Located on the island of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara province. It is known for its 1815 eruption, which was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, causing a “year without summer” in the northern hemisphere.
- Mount Batur – Located on the island of Bali in Bali province. It is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic views and hot springs.
- Mount Merbabu – Located on the island of Java in Central Java province. It is the highest mountain in Central Java and a popular destination for hikers and climbers.
Why so many volcanoes in Indonesia?
- Indonesia is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped region around the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.
- The country has more than 120 active volcanoes, the most of any country in the world, and has experienced some of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in history.
- The government has implemented measures to monitor and prepare for volcanic activity, but the frequent eruptions still pose a significant threat to the country’s population and infrastructure.
Back2Basics: Pacific Ring of Fire
- It is an area located around the rim of the Pacific Ocean where several tectonic plates meet. This region is known for its high seismic and volcanic activity.
- It is approximately 40,000 km long and is home to about 75% of the world’s active volcanoes and 90% of the world’s earthquakes.
- The Pacific Plate, the largest tectonic plate on Earth, moves northwest and collides with smaller plates, creating a zone of subduction.
- As the plates collide, they create friction and pressure, leading to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
- The Ring of Fire includes several countries and territories such as Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and the West Coast of North and South America.
- The region is also known for its natural resources, including geothermal energy and minerals.
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