Indonesia: The world's volcanic hot spot

The glow of lava is seen coming from Mount Agung during an eruption on Nov 26, 2017. PHOTO: TWITTER/@SUTOPO_BNPB
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Airlines have been issued a "red warning" about the danger of volcanic ash in the skies close to Bali.

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia, where more than 40,000 people have been evacuated over fears of an imminent volcanic eruption at Mount Agung on Bali, is the world's most volcanic area.

The South-east Asian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and islets - and nearly 130 active volcanoes - is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.

Here are some of the country's most deadly eruptions:


In 1815, Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa explodes in one of the most violent eruptions in recorded history. An estimated 12,000 people die, while a resulting famine kills another 80,000.


The island of Krakatoa is practically wiped off the map in 1883 by a volcanic explosion so powerful that it is heard some 4,500km away. Around 36,000 people are killed in the eruption and the resulting tsunami. A new volcano emerges in 1928 on the same site.


Mount Kelud, a Java island volcano, erupts in 1568, killing 10,000 people. It takes another 5,000 lives in 1919. In February 2014, 75,000 people are evacuated due to a forecast Kelud eruption.


In 1930, an eruption in Java of Mount Merapi - considered one of the world's most active and dangerous volcanoes - kills more than 1,300 people. It erupts again in 2010, forcing 280,000 people to flee and killing more than 300 in what is considered its most powerful eruption since 1930. Merapi is also one of the most densely populated volcanic sites: 12,000 people live on its slopes and a million people live under its threat.


In 2014, 16 people are killed after an eruption of Mount Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra. Another eruption in 2016 kills seven.


In 1963, several successive eruptions of Mount Agung, a spiritual centre on the island of Bali, leave nearly 1,600 dead.

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