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Krakatoa! SRSLY, KRAKATOA erupting!


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I saw the news about the tsunami last night. Almost exactly 14 years after the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. 

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I see that Mount Etna has woken up too today


According to new reports, Mount Etna – an active and mercurial volcano in Sicily – has produced a fresh eruption from a brand-new fissure.

The Etna Observatory, part of Italy’s National institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), explain that a collection of 130 tremors at the volcano, perhaps indicating magma moving through the crust, caught their attention, with the most powerful of the swarm equivalent to a magnitude 4.0 earthquake. Then, sometime on Monday, lava flows began emerging from a new fissure high up on the southeastern side of the volcano, producing a persistent ash cloud.

So far, it looks like no-one’s in danger, as the flank eruption is taking place high up away from any population centres. Hikers are also being brought down from higher elevations too, according to the Washington Post. Catania's airport has also been shut down and flights have been grounded in order to not run into trouble with the ash cloud.

Here's a tweet from someone nearby;

I was over there in 2014 and it was going then, but not like this.  It was just some small clouds up near the summit. 

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This really caught my attention because I recently read a fascinating but utterly grim article about the ice coring of a Swiss glacier showed that particulate matter from  eruptions of Icelandic volcanoes blacked out the sun for 18 months in the mid 6th century, 536 AD to be precise.  Crops failed and mass starvation ensued in Europe and parts of Asia. Then bubonic plague began in northern Egypt in 540 AD and spread across the Mediterranean killing 25% to 55% of the populace. 

It just reminds me that there's no way to prepare for this type of catastrophic natural event and I've often thought that food scarcity would create total social destabilization. 

Just being in my city (over two hours from the coast) go into gas hoarding mode during during Hurricane Harvey was extremely disconcerting. 

From Science Magazine online:   Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’


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