This morning I wrote that Kelud was about to erupt, but I thought I would have time to take a nap before it happened. As it turned out I did not have that time and the upcoming eruption that I have been writing about since July started.
Keluds eruption started at 22.50 local time, but noteworthy is that the webcam covering the crater stopped transmitting as early as 17.53. It was most likely damaged by the ongoing heavy earthquake activity, or its power transmission was cut.
As I had written in previous posts Kelud has a very explosive style when it erupts. Often it produces a VEI-3 or VEI-4 eruption within a few hours before the eruption starts to rapidly decline. Local official sources seem to indicate that this eruption is as powerful, or even slightly more so, than the 1990 VEI-4 eruption.
The eruption started with a blast that cleared away the lava dome that was extruded in the 2007 non-explosive eruption of old de-gassed magma. According to local reports rock rained down as far as 15 to 20 kilometers away from the volcano.
The current evacuation zone is 10 kilometers, but it seems that the shelters for the region are in a bit of disarray and it seems that some of the shelters that were supposed to be there is not. One should remember that the evacuation zone contains 200 000 to 250 000 people. This should also be put into the context that stones have been confirmed to rain down further out than 10 kilometers.
The rapid ongoing evacuation Is under way, but it is being done in darkness with ash and stones falling all over around the fleeing population. Sadly I think that we will start to see the death toll start to go up.
My thoughts go out to the local population. The post will be updated as soon as new info has come to our attention.
Previous posts about Kelud
In the two posts below you can find additional data and information about the volcano.
The massive mushroom cloud of Kelud. Notice that there seems to be a temperature inversion and gravity shockwaves. Source: Madison University via Rudiger Escobar Wolf (who caught the gravity waves).
A request for our Indonesian readers. If you can collect ash from the eruption of Kelud (or for that matter Sinabung) you can send it to us for Sweep Electron Microscope (SEM) analysize at the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz Austria. If you wish to send ash to us, send an email and we will answer with the contact information to our editor Birgit.