Sangeang Api volcano erupts

Indonesia – The Sangeang Api Volcano (Gunung Api or Gunung Sangeang) has erupted in the Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It lies off the  NE coast of Sumbawa Island.

A major explosive eruption occurred at 08:30 UTC 30/5/2014 (6.30pm AEST).

An ash column estimated to be between 50 thousand and 65 thousand feet and rising was created from the explosion.



An earthquake with the magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter scale is associated with the eruption.

Sangeang Api part of the “Ring of Fire”

Sangeang Api is an active complex volcano on the island of Sangeang in Indonesia which is associated  with the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire”.

It lies on the Indo-Australian plate that abuts the Eurasian plate near the Java trench.

Ring of Fire tectonic plates
Tectonic plates that create the Indonesian ‘ring of fire’ showing active land volcanos.
Image Credit: NOAA


The volcano has two volcanic cones:

  1. Doro Api Kalubu Crater 1,949 metres (6,394 ft), and
  2. Doro Mantoi 1,795 m (5,889 ft) .


Since the area was evacuated in 1985 the Island has remained largely uninhabited.

Islanders prepare to evacuate.
Islanders prepare to evacuate on August 25, 1985, as Sangeang Api volcano erupts in the background.
Image Credit: Photo by Tom Casadevall, 1985 (U.S. Geological Survey).


The Island is still used for agriculture and farmers who work on the Island but do not live there were asked to leave and not return until after the volcano finishes erupting.

Previous eruptions

Sangeang Api has caused concern in the past with several confirmed eruptions since 1911.  Records of eruptions have been recorded since 1512.

In May last year, the alert level was raised to 3 after increased seismic activity in the area but after a lull it was reduced back to 2 in June.

The last eruption occurred in 1999.

Sangeang Api from Space
View of Sangeang Api from Space.
Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Sangeang Api Aviation Code Red

Aviation color code is on red.

Flight interruptions are expected in Australia. The airport in Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory is currently closed as the ash cloud from the eruption is expected to interfere with flights in the area.

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