Indonesia’s Volcanoes and the Pacific Ring of Fire

While in Indonesia, we were able to see the beautiful mountain peaks wherever we went. These peaks are actually volcanoes as the islands of Indonesia sit on the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, which consists of the mountains, faults, and trenches that rim the pacific coasts on North and South America, Alaska, Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, Indonesia and New Zealand. Seventy-five (75%) percent of the world’s volcanoes sit on this notorious ring.

Indonesia is home to 151 volcanic peaks, with the island of Java having 42. Indonesia has ongoing volcanic activity, but many of the peaks are craters. One of the most infamous volcanoes was Krakatoa, which erupted in 1883, causing catastrophic damage and tsunamis. Mighty Krakatoa now sits deflated in the Pacific ocean between Sumatra and Java, with a baby Krakatoa growing from the spent crater.

We were able to visit Mt. Merapi near Yogyakarta in the eastern section of Java. Mt. Merapi is one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes, with it’s close proximity to dense population centers and ongoing seismic activity (spires of steam and low rumblings). It’s last eruption occurred in October 2010. The activity is closely monitored with sensors and warning signals. It is possible to hike up the volcano with guides or take a tour by motorcycle or jeep to get a closer look.

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