‘It sounded like a bomb’: Power of Indonesia’s latest volcanic eruption

A volatile volcano in central Indonesia unleashed its most powerful eruption yet today, spewing hot ash and smoke thousands of feet into the air and sending panicked villagers racing back to emergency shelters.

Mount Lokon, on northern Sulawesi island, had been dormant for years but rumbled back to life late last week.

A series of overnight blasts on Thursday and Friday claimed one life – a woman who suffered a heart attack as she fled.

But government volcanologist Surono, who uses only one name, said today’s 10.35am eruption released the greatest amount of energy so far, shooting soot and debris 11,400 feet (3,500 metres) high.

‘We’re hoping this helped ease pressure building up behind the magma dome and that we’ll now start seeing a reduction in activity,’ he said. ‘But it’s too early to know.’

More than 33,000 people live along the slopes of Mount Lokon, taking advantage of fertile soil to grow cloves and coffee.

About 5,000 of them with homes nearest to the crater have been moved in recent days to schools, mosques and other makeshift shelters near the base.

But despite warnings that the mountain was still not safe, some had returned to tend to their crops and their livestock.

The powerful explosion sent them racing back down the slopes, some jumping into cars and motorcycles, others rounded up by soldiers and police and escorted down in trucks. There were no immediate reports of casualties after today’s eruption.

‘It was huge,’ said Henny Lalawi, who works as a picker for a coffee plantation.

‘It sounded like a bomb and then I saw the crater burst, sending ash high into the air. It was pretty awesome, really.’


Father Yahweh is bringing back balance to Her creation on earth. We see destruction in nature as the remedy for imbalance in natural disasters. Earthquakes that destroy structures and foundations as well as change landscapes. Fire (sometimes used purposefully as a tool) that destroys grass and trees that in time grow back greener and healthier. Volcanoes that erupt and bury things as well as change landscapes. Tsunamis and Hurricanes that wash away everything but can also cleanse and restore. It does appear that destruction in one way or another is a tool in which balance is achieved.

Isaiah 65:11, 12
“But you who abandon the LORD,
who forget My holy mountain,
who prepare a table for Fortune
and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,
I will destine you for the sword,
and all of you will kneel down to be slaughtered,
because I called and you did not answer,
I spoke and you did not hear;
you did what was evil in My sight
and chose what I did not delight in.”