Explaining the deadly volcanic tsunami that hit Indonesia


Hundreds are dead, with more missing, following a tsunami that took the Indonesian coast by surprise on Dec. 22. 

But this was no typical tsunami. Rather, it was a volcanic tsunami, and understanding what that means may help explain why this particular manifestation of nature’s power was so devastating. 

The tsunami that struck between the Sumatra and Java islands was triggered not by an earthquake — as is typically the case with tsunamis — but instead by an active volcano in the area known as Anak Krakatau. The volcano reportedly partially collapsed, triggering a landslide underwater, which then in turn kicked off the tsunami, said Dwikorita Karnawati, who leads Indonesia’s meteorological agency, according to multiple news reports. Read more…

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