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Mud volcano filling 60 pools a day

Breaking Earth News

TWO years after it oozed into life, Indonesia's "mud volcano" is still spewing toxic sludge across the Javanese countryside at the rate of 60 Olympic swimming pools a day.

And the more homes and farms that disappear beneath its stinking grey goo, the louder the calls for justice from hundreds of displaced families who are awaiting compensation.

"There is always a fear that even where we are staying we will be flooded with mud. Recently the dyke at Renokenongo subsided two metres, new gas leaks are everywhere," said Sunarto, who lives near the mudflow.

"When the wind blows westward we can smell the strong odour from here. It seems like there's no end, but there would be if only the Government would act more swiftly."

The Indonesian "mud volcano" is collapsing under its own weight, worsening the environmental disaster. Sudden collapses of up to three metres (9.8 feet) have been recorded at the centre of the volcano in East Java. "Such sudden collapses could be the beginning of a caldera - a large basin-shaped volcanic depression." The caldera could be as much as 146 metres deep. "(Scientists) propose the subsidence is due to the weight of mud and collapse of rock strata due to the excavation of mud from beneath the surface." The mud volcano, known as "Lusi", has already been an environmental and economic disaster for local people, and things will get worse as the mud continues to flow and the centre collapses. "Sidoarjo is a populated region and is collapsing as a result of the birth and growth of Lusi. This could continue to have a significant environmental impact on the surrounding area for years to come."
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