There was a terrible volcanic eruption in Indonesia. Fifteen people died as the pyroclastic flow overcame them. A heartbreaking photo of an ash strewn roadway with an empty and overturned motor scooter told the story of vainly trying to outrun the fiery flow that swept away fifteen lives.
Sinabung, the volcano that erupted, is one of many on the volcanically active nation. As of this week, the authorities placed 19 other volcanoes on alert.
|Above, location on google maps of the Indonesian volcano Sinabung|
Below is James Reynold’s video of Sinabung erupting and also spawning two ash tornadoes. He said on twitter that it was “Two amazing forces of nature at work, twisters AND eruptions! Sinabung volcano’s incredible dust devils” but we know it wasn’t Mother Nature but God.
UPI reports, 19 more Indonesian volcanoes placed on alert category
“Indonesia Tuesday added 19 more volcanoes to its second-highest alert level status following the eruption of Mount Sinabung that killed at least 15 people. Besides the 19 volcanoes, three others — the Lokon and Karangetang in North Sulawesi and the Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara — already have been on the high alert status since last year, the Jakarta Post reported.”
Meanwhile, in South America, Ecuador’s Tungahura erupted. This volcano is in the Valley of the Volcanoes and it specifically about 80 km from the bustling capital of Quito.
Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano spews lava and rocks
“Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano erupted three times over the weekend, sending huge clouds of ash and smoke into the sky, authorities said. Two moderate explosions on Saturday were followed by a third of greater size. Local reports say the blast created a column of ash of about 8kms (5 miles) above the volcano, which is located in Penipe province.”
Here is geology professor Erik Klemetti with a weekly roundup of all the ashy activity
Eruption Update for February 5, 2014: Indonesia, Ubinas, Tungurahua, Kavachi
Perú: In South America, Perú’s Ubinas is again showing signs of new activity. Since the end of January, seismicity has increased at the volcano, with 100+ earthquakes under the volcano per day. Small steam and ash plumes have been noted at Ubinas as well, but all the activity over the last few months has been attributed to water seeping into the heated interior of the volcano (i.e., no new magma involved so far).
Ecuador: Tungurahua remains on high alert after the weekend’s large explosive eruption. The volcano remains restless, with earthquakes are continuing at the volcano along with small explosions. The eruption over the weekend did dust the capital of Quito and a large swath of Ecuador with ash. Work has been started to reopen the roads around the volcano that were blocked after the eruption as they are some of the few escape routes for people who live near Tungurahua. If you’ve ever wondered what it might look like to be directly under a large volcano plume (see above), check out this video taken from Baños during the February 2 eruption. Be sure to check out this time-lapse of the eruption as well.
Did you know that there are volcanoes in the contiguous US? And I’m not talking the Cascades. Yellowstone is a supervolcano and the Old Faithful geyser is actually part of that underground network of magma movement and steam release and uplift and all that jazz.
Over at Yellowstone, Yellowstone Geyser Erupts For First Time in Years
“Yellowstone National Park’s Giantess Geyser is erupting for the first time in two-and-a-half years, park rangers said today. The usually quiet geyser is shooting off bursts of water that reach 50 feet (15 meters) into the air, said Annie Carlson, the supervisory park ranger at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. Giantess Geyser is nearby the more famous Old Faithful, but it is far less regular.”
This awakening of this Giantess geyser isn’t the only volcanic-related activity in the Park. There has seemed to be an increase in activity and magma movement, but the USGS is dampening those reports by saying the stories circulating reporting abnormally strong earthquake activity in Yellowstone National Park are wrong. The USGS says “earthquake activity in Yellowstone has been at normal levels for the past several months. The story appears to be based on a misinterpretation of public “webicorders”, which are graphics depicting seismic data, on the University of Utah Seismographic Station (UUSS) web site (UU operates the Yellowstone Seismic Network). Therefore, the USGS is hosting a live streamed talk, headed by Jake Lowenstern, scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. He will talk at 6 p.m. on Thursday about what is happening.
Though the bible doesn’t say anything specific to my knowledge about volcanoes, we do see some verses which could indicate volcanic eruptions. As in this from Nahum 1:5-
The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it
Or this from Psalm 97:5-
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
We see in scripture perhaps the results of an eruption, also.
Revelation 6:12 says, “And I beheld when He had opened the Sixth Seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”
After particularly violent eruptions, the sun or moon look like they are surrounded by a hairy short, this is known as dry fog. The Icelandic volcano Laki erupted in 1783. It was such a violent eruption that the world climate changed for over a year. Gilbert White recorded his perceptions of the event at Selborne, Hampshire, England:
The summer of the year 1783 was an amazing and portentous one, and full of horrible phaenomena; for besides the alarming meteors and tremendous thunder-storms that affrighted and distressed the different counties of this kingdom, the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man. By my journal I find that I had noticed this strange occurrence from June 23 to July 20 inclusive, during which period the wind varied to every quarter without making any alteration in the air. The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting. All the time the heat was so intense that butchers’ meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic, and riding irksome. The country people began to look, with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun. (source)
The Lord holds the earth in His hand. All things will come to pass. As the earth decays and eventually melts in the great destruction, volcanoes will surely play a part in hastening the earth’s demise. (Revelation 21:1, 2 peter 3:10, (Isaiah 24:20). Praise Him that He has prepared a place for us, and we will dwell with Him forever. (John 14:3).
If you would like to enter your name for consideration on the rolls of the heavenly citizenship, then repent of your sins, and ask Jesus to forgive them. If you are sorrowful, knowing that the sins are blasphemes of an enemy against God, then He will justify you, declaring you righteous. And that is all it takes to become a child of God and dwell in heaven with Him forever.