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4/27/2007

Cracks in wall suppressing Indonesia's 'mud volcano'

Indonesia
Photo: An aerial view from March, 2007 shows mud that oozed and covered some 600 hectares (1,482 acres) in the area of Porong, a district of Sidoarjo in East Java.

April 26, 2007
Workers were racing Thursday to repair a massive wall holding back sludge spewing from Indonesia's "mud volcano" that has already flooded hundreds of homes. Cracks started to appear in the man-made embankment around the disaster area in east Java on Wednesday, prompting authorities to declare the area off limits. The cracks sparked panic among workers charged with reinforcing the embankment. It was built months after the volcano started spewing sludge last May, in an attempt to reduce the disastrous impact on surrounding areas. The flow has damaged roads and swamped farms, factories and homes, displacing 15,000 residents and causing millions of dollars worth of damage. Experts have already dropped hundreds of chains, each comprising four concrete balls, into the crater, aiming to narrow the funnel, obstruct the sludge and curb the flow. Experts are unsure how long the crater will spew mud if left unchecked, with some suggesting it could be years.

VOLCANOES
RUSSIA - Two lava flows of over one kilometer each are coming down from the crater of Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano on Kamchatka peninsula. There was no threat for the nearby Klyuchi settlement with some 5 thousand people located 32 kilometers away. Some 100 local tremors were registered at the volcano on Thursday. The volcano threw clouds of steam, gas and ashes to a height of 500 meters. Clouds of ashes have moved 200 kilometers to the east of the crater. Temperatures in the volcano are beyond the measurement limits. The volcano woke up on February 15 and scientists predicted the eruption will intensify.
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