Hell has no fury like the burning of a mountain.

Every volcano eruption bears witness to the phenomenal power of nature unleashed from the rocks that lie inside its bowel. It’s one thing to gasp at photographs of a volcano spewing brimstone and fire, it’s another to see it happen before your eyes. Below is a 44-second video capture of the recent eruption of Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Significantly, this is the active volcano’s first eruption in four centuries. Mt. Sinabung started to blow its top last month, on Sunday 9 June. A second eruption followed the next day, sending plumes of dark grey smoke and volcanic ash 2 km (5 miles) into the air.

Video recording of the eruption of Mount Sinabung in Sumatra, Indonesia, June 2019.

Mount Sinabung (2,460 m) is among the most active volcanoes in an archipelago famous for its fire-breathing mountains. This is because Indonesia is situated on a 40,000 km path along the Pacific Ocean known as the “Ring of Fire”, an area that contains 75 percent or more than 450 of the Earth’s volcanoes. 90 percent of the Earth’s earthquakes also occur here. The abundance of volcanoes and earthquakes along the Ring of Fire is due to frequent epic-sized movements of tectonic plates deep under the Ring of Fire.

Mt. Sinabung on a quiet day, 20 June, 2018. Consistent ash venting can be seen as well as the 2014 lava flow in the lower center of the photo: Brett Carr, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

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