- Volcanic eruptions can be compared by a logarithmic scale called the Volcanic Explosive Index (VEI).
- VEI 0 are small explosive eruptions, VEI 8 are huge catastrophic eruptions.
- All recorded eruptions of VEI 6 or greater has killed someone.
- Approximately 50% of recorded eruptions of VEI 4-5 have killed someone.
- The majority of deadly volcanoes (VEI 6 or less) claim about 80% of their victims between 7 and 10 kilometers from the eruption.
- Lava causes only 0.34%-0.79% of deaths from eruptions.
- Pyroclastic flows cause between 33-46% of deaths from eruptions.
- Monitoring the effect of volcanic ash in Indonesia is the responsibility of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (via the Darwin VAAC).
- On average for every volcano that erupts in Indonesia, 27 people will die.
- Five volcanoes have has significant (and recurring) eruptions already this year (Jan-Feb 2014). Those are Sinabung, Saiu Island, Kukano, Raung and Kelut.
- The largest explosive eruption known occurred at Toba about 30 000 years ago.
- In 1815 Mount Tambora erupted killing approximately 60 000 people and led to the “year without a summer” in Europe.
- In 1883 Krakatoa erupted with the resulting in approximately 36 000 deaths, the sound of the eruption was reportedly heard in many parts of Australia.
- Approximately 76 different volcanoes have erupted in Indonesia in the last ~500 years. Most of these erupting frequently.
*Auker, M. R., Sparks, R.S.J., Siebert, L., Crosweller, H.S. & Ewart, J. 2013. A statistical analysis of the global historical fatalities record. Journal of Applied Volcanology 2:2
*Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Institution / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports (All editions January-February 2014)