Mount Semeru: Erupting volcano on Indonesia’s Java island

Here’s some coverage by the BBC

Indonesia’s Mount Semeru has erupted, pouring ash and smoke an estimated 5.6km (3.4 miles) into the sky above Java, the country’s most densely populated island.

No evacuation orders have so far been issued, and no casualties reported.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (NDMA) warned villagers living on the mountain’s slopes to be alert for ongoing volcanic activity.

Footage showed ash from the 3,676m (12,060ft) volcano looming over homes.

“The villages of Sumber Mujur and Curah Koboan [in Lumajang municipality] are located in the trajectory of the hot clouds,” local official Thoriqul Haq said on Saturday.

Residents of the Curah Kobokan river basin have been urged to watch for possible “cold lava” mudflow, which can be triggered by intense rainfall combining with volcanic material.

Mount Semeru erupted at about 17:24 local time (10:24 GMT), authorities said.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic activity as well as earthquakes.

Full article with pictures here.

And a collection of Youtube videos on this eruption:

This one is H/T Joel O’Bryan’s favorite, especially the last 2 minutes:

And last comment from Joel.

In following a general pattern, this Semeru eruption in Indonesia is part of the larger pattern of volcanos in Indonesia (on Java, Sumatra and further east to Vanuatu) in an awakening.

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Joel O'Bryan
January 16, 2021 10:09 pm

The Indonesians and their government’s response forces are unfortunately getting quite accustomed and experienced to these volcanic civil emergencies. And Biden and Kerry think human-caused climate change is the existential threat to humanity. They should ask Indonesians what they think.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 16, 2021 10:24 pm

What really captures me about all those videos from Saturday is that the vids are ALL shot by average, everyday Indonesians with their cell phone’s video and posted to social media. No polished media pretty faces or Seth Borenstein’s trying to politicize an event.

There is No media filtering of the “message” in these videos. Just raw video with motorbikes quizzing by, people chattering away wondering what’s going to happen.
No climate claims. No political agenda.
They are just everyday ordinary people, like you and me, and watching their lives get turned upside down by Nature they cannot control. No carbon tax or climate piety virtue signaling will stop that.

Ian W
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 17, 2021 4:37 am

No carbon tax or climate piety virtue signaling will stop that.

that is why

No polished media pretty faces or Seth Borenstein’s trying to politicize an event.

No political aspect for the talking heads so it is not news

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 17, 2021 7:19 am

Sounds like it’s calling for a sacrifice.

Reply to  Scissor
January 17, 2021 7:03 pm

Maybe we could find a media virgin…Aw, Never Mind.

January 16, 2021 10:42 pm

Jeez, more pollution in the form of CO2. What are going to do?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Pauleta
January 16, 2021 10:54 pm

plant a garden, water it, and watch it grow like gangbusters.

Leo Smith
January 16, 2021 10:56 pm

Send in St Greta – she can see that CO2!

January 17, 2021 12:50 am

Historically, Semeru eruptions have always been around Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) 2~3, so it is very unlikely it will be large enough to cause any measurable global cooling.

Temporary and measurable volcanic global cooling only occur for eruptions over VEI 5, for example: during the 1991 Pinatubo (VEI 6) and the 1982 El Chichon (VEI 5) and many others through out history.

I’m just glad to see no one has so far been hurt from this eruption.

it’s likely in the not too distant future, another VEI 5+ eruption will occur as historically, one occurs every 30 years or so, with the last one in 1991.

Reply to  SAMURAI
January 17, 2021 3:14 pm

If I recall, the El Chichon eruption was not extreme, but very long lasting- it went on for months, constantly belching out ash and gases.

January 17, 2021 1:39 am

Please pray for these people near the volcano, that no one gets hurts. Volcanoes are powerful and amazing to watch (saw Marapi light up in south/central Java up close about 15yrs) but those clouds of ash can be hundreds of degrees and can cook people instantly.

Reply to  PCman999
January 17, 2021 4:57 pm

I presume you mean pray to the volcano god. He or she seems to be in a lively mood.

Ron Long
January 17, 2021 2:18 am

So the volcano Semeru is erupting and displaying some tendencies that are warning signs. There clearly are pyroclastic flows advancing down-slope, and as noted above these are hundreds of degrees C and incinerate anything in their path. Also the steaming river flow is a hot lahar, with ash incorporated in rain fall and making a soup that is twice the density of water and it gathers up other loose rock debris and gets even denser and it erodes its banks and bridge supports, etc and produces a lot of damage. If I was down-slope and/or down wind of this type of eruption I would change my location before I went to sleep.

Peta of Newark
January 17, 2021 2:35 am

Am I the only one watching those videos and seeing how green and lush and lovely the place is – all those trees, dense vegetation and green fields
Please say ‘no’
(Apart from when you venture too close to the rumbling old pile. epic, I think I want one)

Has all that greenery any connection with the volcanoes……
Would that then have any connection with The Climate there?

Get a little taster of Java Climate here ##
Run forward back through the months
Does the temp ever get outside the range 25 to 35 Celsius?

## This little PWS doesn’t seem to have much of a record but…

There are others, go play with them – or stations in that general part of the world.
See what you see on Sputnik images – are there (m)any deserts around there?

Am I totally crazy to suggest that if we, us Human Types, in a small way emulated what volcanoes do, we ‘might’ fix our climate?

very old white guy
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2021 3:56 am

Why would you think you can fix the climate? It ain’t broke, it does what it always does whether man is around or not.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2021 4:41 am

Yes the greenery has something to do with the volcanic activity, creates brilliant soil, but hey everyone already knows that.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2021 7:23 am

What you see as green and lush, some see as a coming mass extinction.

very old white guy
January 17, 2021 3:54 am

A volcano is erupting and a government agency feels the need to inform those who live by it that it is erupting. Is living by the slopes of a volcano kind of like living on a flood plain, eventually something bad happens?

Reply to  very old white guy
January 17, 2021 9:29 am

Yes. In the meantime, though, you get bumper crops, whether on the slopes of a volcano or in the level ground of a floodplain. Mother Nature giveth, Mother Nature taketh away…

January 17, 2021 4:31 am

there have been a lot of 5 n over quakes all round the area from down near to NZ and up to the russian coast in the last week
only surprise it its taken so long for something to go splat

January 17, 2021 4:53 am

Good images, but a modest eruption.
Why post it?
They need to spew the stuff 20 kms up to provide some cooling.

Joel OBryan
Reply to  Bob Hoye
January 17, 2021 7:07 am

Part of a general pattern of a resurgence in volcanic activity in this section of the ring of fire. Semeru’s twin is Mt Agung on Bali less than 200 miles to the east. They are likely fed from the same deep mantle plume. And Agung has well established track record of much larger eruptions.

Reply to  Joel OBryan
January 17, 2021 9:50 am

The ash cloud from Mt Agung’s eruption in November 2017 reached over 12 km.

January 17, 2021 5:37 am

OOOO!!! Volcano Live!!!! All that particulate matter, all that dust floating through the air – that’s gonna make a change in the weather. Anak Krakatau has been busy, too. Volcanoes are sleeping giants.

If only this will confound all the nutbars who want to assure us that we are doomed to an overheated (by less than one-half degree) planet that will do something something something….

Please keep us informed. Thanks!!!

Reply to  Sara
January 17, 2021 7:03 am

Meant to add this: do the 2004 Boxing Day quake and the 2011 Tohoku (Japan) quake have anything to do with this? The planet has its own agenda, y’know. Pingree Grove, IL, had a mild 3.8 quake in 2010, but no one felt it unless you were on the 2nd and higher up floors of buildings in Chicago, many miles southeast of Pingree Grove.

January 17, 2021 6:01 am

There was a very strong 6.2 quake which struck on the west side of the main island on the 14th, right at the end of the New Moon cycle. At least thirty five people died, and substantial damage occurred in the worst hit area.

January 17, 2021 8:55 am

Send in John Kerry to negotiate with the volcano with U.S. funding and loans.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 17, 2021 9:52 am

Plans to drop pallets and pallets of cash from helicopter are likely in the works.

January 17, 2021 8:56 am

Add it to the COVID19 under reporting.

Steve Oregon
January 17, 2021 9:16 am

Is there enough data to reasonably presume this moderate eruption has some potential to be similar to the prelude to the Mt. St. Helens type explosive event that would be quite deadly?
Or is that simply the kind of speculation that applies to all eruptions?

January 17, 2021 9:20 am

Earth in the beginning was a molten mass that cold of space cooled the exterior forming the mantel crust, as the metallic core keeps the interior hot and molten, the mantel grows thicker over billions of years. Gases created by the molten magma build up pressure and find the weakest points in the mantel along fault lines between the tectonic plates to escape. For the first two billion years these fault lines just split open and filled with magma that cooled as surface water dissipated the heat causing an expansion between the plates. The molten magma constantly erodes the rock under the tectonic plates while creating thinning in some areas of the mantle supplying more gases that build up pressure causing breaks and slipping between the tectonic plates we call earthquakes. With only a limited amount of elements to form rock that makes up the mantle, the expansion has slowed in the past two billion years, as the volcanoes previously created, act as pressure release valves, the lava adds weight to the surface that increases the pressure on top of the tectonic plates, that underneath them is eroded by the molten magma creating new gases as it melts, creating a loop to start the process over and over again in the same weakened places. As long as these smaller volcanoes stay active there will never be another Super Volcano like Toba or Yellowstone, Deccan Traps, etc. Expansion events have nearly stopped because Volcanoes are the Pressure Release Valves. But mapping of the ocean floor is ongoing and the underwater trenches have still been expanding as they are the thinnest areas of the mantle. No new mountains have been created in the last approximately 2 billion years that are not volcanoes, although some have changed their height due to shifting tectonic plates. Sea levels haven’t changed for the past approximately two billion years, other than from glacial minimums and maximums as shown by water marks on mountains and low lands. There will never be another Snowball Earth because the earth expanded as far as it can. Water levels will never increase to create another North American connection between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, as the Oceans expanded enough to prevent it. While another Glacial Maximum will occur, it will not be forming glaciers any further than the last one that ended over 12,000 years ago and sea levels will drop as surface water becomes polar and mountain glaciers.

January 17, 2021 9:36 am

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (NDMA) warned villagers living on the mountain’s slopes to be alert for ongoing volcanic activity.

Those mountain-slope villagers living right below the eruption must be thankful the NDMA is around to tell them these things.

ht/ Han Solo talking to C3PO.

Loren C. Wilson
January 17, 2021 9:39 am

While the soil near the volcano is very fertile, this video illustrates the danger in letting people live near the volcano. Volcanoes need exclusion zones to protect people. Let them farm there but live outside the area of danger.

Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
January 17, 2021 9:57 am

Look at all the people that live around Vesuvio today, about 3 million.

January 17, 2021 11:27 am

The latest paper by the hockey team concludes that volcanoes are caused by the burning of fossil fuels. The paper, soon to be the scientific mainstay of the IPCC, includes the usual sampling errors, data inversion, red noise, Mike’s Nature trick and hokey-stick computer code.

The paper eliminates from the historic record the Vesuvius, Krakatoa, Santa Maria and Novarupta volcanic eruptions, and concludes that the Pinatubo, El Chichon and St Helens eruptions were unprecedented and were caused by evil Big Oil.

The paper relies heavily on previous scholarship that eliminated the Holocene, Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, the Little Ice Age, etc from the climate record.

The paper concludes that humanity faces an existential crisis, and that we will all be wiped out by VEI8 volcanoes if we do not stop burning fossil fuels.

Be very afraid – “The science is settled”.

[I suppose I have to say “sarc/off” – so many people believed MBH98++ and panicked, especially our imbecilic politicians.]

January 17, 2021 7:23 pm

John Kerry, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, AOC, the Pope and Prince Charles all said today:
“To solve the crisis of volcanoes, we also must solve Covid-19 AND Global Warming / Climate Change. The Great Reset is our only salvation! And the Green New Deal! And Depopulation of the plebs!
Be afraid, thou feeble-minded peasants, BE VERY AFRAID!!!”

January 17, 2021 8:09 pm


“Gaslighting” – The term originates in the systematic psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 stage play “Gas Light,” and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944. In the story, the husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment and insisting that she is mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional when she points out these changes.
The play’s title alludes to how the abusive husband slowly dims the gas lights in their home, while pretending nothing has changed, in an effort to make his wife doubt her own perceptions. The wife repeatedly asks her husband to confirm her perceptions about the dimming lights, but in defiance of reality, he keeps insisting that the lights are the same and instead it is she who is going insane.
Today we are living in a perpetual state of gaslighting. The reality that we are being told by the media is at complete odds with what we are seeing with our own two eyes. And when we question the false reality that we are being presented, or we claim that what we see is that actual reality, we are vilified as racist or bigots or just plain crazy
You’re not racist. You’re not crazy. You’re being gaslighted.
New York State has twice as many deaths from Covid-19 than any other state, and New York has accounted for one fifth of all Covid-19 deaths, but we are told that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has handled the pandemic better than any other governor. But if we support policies of Governors whose states had only a fraction of the infections and deaths as New York, we’re called anti-science and want people to die.
So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.
We see mobs of people looting stores, smashing windows, setting cars on fire and burning down buildings, but we are told that these demonstrations are peaceful protests And when we call this destruction of our cities, riots, we are called racists.
So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.
We see the major problem destroying many inner-cities is crime; murder, gang violence, drug dealing, drive-by shootings, armed robbery, but we are told that it is not crime, but the police that are the problem in the inner-cities. We are told we must defund the police and remove law enforcement from crime-riddled cities to make them safer But if we advocate for more policing in cities overrun by crime, we are accused of being white supremacists and racists.
So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.
The United States of America accepts more immigrants than any other country in the world. The vast majority of the immigrants are “people of color”, and these immigrants are enjoying freedom and economic opportunity not available to them in their country of origin, but we are told that the United States is the most racist and oppressive country on the planet, and if we disagree, we are called racist and xenophobic.
So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.
Capitalist countries are the most prosperous countries in the world. The standard of living is the highest in capitalist countries. We see more poor people move up the economic ladder to the middle and even the wealthy class through their effort and ability in capitalist countries than any other economic system in the world, but we are told capitalism is an oppressive system designed to keep people down.
So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.
Communist countries killed over 100 million people in the 20th century. Communist countries strip their citizens of basic human rights, dictate every aspect of their lives, treat their citizens as slaves, and drive their economies into the ground, but we are told that Communism is the fairest, most equitable, freest, and most prosperous economic system in the world.
So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.
The most egregious example of gaslighting is the concept of “white fragility”. You spend your life trying to be a good person, trying to treat people fairly and with respect. You disavow racism and bigotry in all its forms. You judge people solely on the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. You don’t discriminate based on race or ethnicity. But you are told you are a racist, not because of something you did or said, but solely because of the color of your skin. You know instinctively that charging someone with racism because of their skin color is itself racist. You know that you are not racist, so you defend yourself and your character, but you are told that your defense of yourself is proof of your racism.
So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.
Gaslighting has become one of the most pervasive and destructive tactics in American politics. It is the exact opposite of what our political system was meant to be. It deals in lies and psychological coercion, and not the truth and intellectual discourse. If you ever ask yourself if you’re crazy, you are not. Crazy people aren’t sane enough to ask themselves if they’re crazy. So, trust yourself, believe what’s in your heart. Trust your eyes over what you are told.
Never listen to the people who tell you that you are crazy, because you are not, you’re being gaslighted.
Sophocles said: “What people believe prevails over the truth.” And that’s what the media are trying to exploit.
If you have read this far let me say one thing. I did not write the above and I am not sure who the author is.
I sent this to you because you are hopefully smart enough to understand what is being done to you on a daily basis from many directions. I do not care about your political party affiliation. Just think through what you are being told. Don’t listen with a deaf ear, or see with a blind eye. Question everything — even things from people who you think you can trust.
Question why you are being told whatever, by whoever. Question their motives. Question who benefits. Question if there is a hidden agenda behind the propaganda. Question, Question, Question. Then do your own research, and use some of your own critical thinking skills to get to the truth. Listen with your heart and with your mind.
Sadly, 95% of the masses don’t even know that they are being gaslighted. At least now you do.
If this makes sense to you, then forward to your friends who you think might “get it”.

Steven Wegner
January 18, 2021 9:27 am

Modren society as unwittingly produced a load of narcissists who are very good
at gaslighting.

January 17, 2021 1:14 pm

Didn’t full a Krakatoa so all is well. 🙂

January 17, 2021 3:12 pm

In following a general pattern, this Semeru eruption in Indonesia is part of the larger pattern of volcanos in Indonesia (on Java, Sumatra and further east to Vanuatu) in an awakening.


January 17, 2021 3:18 pm

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “Everybody talks about the volcano, but no one does anything about it!”

Call Michael Mann! Call Joe Biden! Call James Hansen! Call Bill Nye!

Someone must do something!

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