Last update: December 7th, 2019 at 8:00 am
After several weeks of tectonic rumblings beneath the surface, one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia began spewing ash plumes and lava into the skies over tropical Asia in June, 2015. By mid-July at least 900 airplane flights into and out of Bali and other regional airports were cancelled due to concerns about the ash clouds, which wafted as high as 6 kilometers (20,000 feet) into the air. Volcanic ash can cause extensive damage and failures in jet engines.
On July 8 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a true-color image of the region. A dense, dark gray plume of ash and volcanic gases can be seen blowing to the northeast from Mount Raung volcano which is hidden under clouds on the Indonesian island of Java.
Mount Raung is a stratovolcano that has erupted at least 13 times in the past 25 years, according to records kept by the Smithsonian Global Volcanism program. The summit stands 3,332 meters (10,932 feet) above sea level and is capped by steep caldera that is 3 kilometers (2 miles) in diameter. All of the known volcanic eruptions at Raung have occurred within that caldera.
No evacuations were ordered for residents living near Raung, though authorities have urged people to wear face masks so as to not inhale ash.