PAGE STARTED: JUNE 28, 2015
This update is in response to more than quite a few e-mails, phone calls, whatsapp and FB communications during the last few days asking whether it is safe to come to Lake Toba considering the Mt Sinabung eruption on June 9, 2019, which made International News headlines.
At the moment overall conditions and danger zones are still the same since Mt Sinabung started erupting again in 2010 after a dormant period of about 400 years. So daily relative small eruptions and every three to four months a rather big one. The June 9 eruption qualifies as a rather big and special one. Powerfull and an ash plume of some 7000 m. The problem being the height of the ash plume which could affect air traffic. It was most likely for this reason that the incident was reported in the International News.
At the moment, June 12, everything is back to normal and one could almost expect that another 3 to 4 months may pass before the next rather big one. From this point of view you are safe in Lake Toba as wel as in Berastagi.
Normally, the small ones and even the bigger ones don’t affect Berastagi too much. It all depends on in which direction the wind blows.
For some further back ground information see below.
UPDATED 19 NOVEMBER, 2015
Especially during the last weeks we are getting quite a few questions of potential guests and guests who have already booked with us whether it is safe to stay with us considering the recent eruptions of Mt Sinabung. Another question which pops up regularly is about the chance of the Lake Toba Volcano erupting.
To save me some time by addressing each question one by one let me address the issue here so that you can get a general idea about what is happening and how we, living in Tuk Tuk on Samosir, in the middle of Lake Toba feel about it.
CURRENT STATUS MT SINABUNG ERUPTIONS
November 19. It has been quiet regarding Mt Sinabung eruptions for quite some time. Partly because due to the Haze the eruptions could not be seen. These days Mt Sinabung is still erupting on a regular basis but till now well within acceptable limits. We notice that quite a few of our guests see the eruptions as a new attraction which can be quite spectacular especially during night time.
August 11. Mt Sinabung eruptions are still ongoing, intermittendly bringing some ashes to Berastagi.
August 9. The last few days Mt Sinabung has been erupting 10 to 25 times a day. Ashes sometimes reaching Berastagi when the wind blows that way.
July 17. Since June 28 the Mt Sinabung is still quite active with minor eruptions. Nothing like as end of June. In and around Berastagi everything is normal, which includes climbing of Mt Sibayak, from where you have the most amazing views.
June 28. A rather power full eruption spewed hot ashes high into the air. A quite strong wing blew these ashes over a distance of 33 km in south eastern direction, which is our way. The ashes crossed the road from Berastagi to Parapat but did not reach Merek, which is about on the shore of Lake Toba at a distance of some 50 km from us.
Mt Sinabung is located in the Berastagi area. Some facts and figures.
Berastagi is 14 km east of Mt Sinabung
Mt Sibayak is 14 km north-east of Mt Sinabung
The closest the road from Berastagi to Parapat comes is at 13 km south-east
Merek on the north side of Lake Toba is south-south-east of the Volcano at a distance of 40 km
Medan is 55 km north-east
Bukit Lawang is 51 km north-west
Pematang Siantar is at 70 km east
Horas Family Home – Tuk Tuk is at 90 km south-south-east
If you come to Horas Family Home from the airport via Pematang Siantar and Parapat the closest you come to the volcano is when you are at the airport.
DANGER ZONE – EVACUATED AREAS
3 km all around the Volcano is evacuated
5 km to the south-east is evacuated
7 km to the south-south-east is evacuated
For the time being pyroclastic flows follow the south-eastern slopes up to a distance of 5 km. These days ash plumes go as high as up to 4 km. These ash plumes are affected by wind conditions. A few times over the last years Berastagi has been covered with a small layer of volcanic ashes.
FACTS AND FANTASY.
It is right that at the moment one finds quite a few threatening stories on the Internet regarding Sinabung and such stories sometimes directly relating to the Super Volcano Toba.
Let me try to approach this in a bit realistic way trying to distinguish between facts and fantasy.
Fact is that during the last months and weeks Mt Sinabung is quite active, sometimes erupting more than 100 times a day. It is also expected that the current activity will be followed by significant eruptions between now and 6 months. The effects most likely being in a similar order as from the biggest eruption sofar of about 1.5 year ago. Some villages very close to the Sinabung seriously affected. At the moment villagers living up to a distance of 7 km are being evacuated. As before one may expect some effects, volcanic ashes, up to a distance of 50 km. In my opinion this is the worst scenario.
Linking stories of hot grounds and new sulfer smell to a Toba threat qualify in my opinion only as fantasy stories. Hot grounds and new sulfer smell areas is nothing new, it is a regular phenomena and it has been and is happening very regularly independent of what is now happening with Sinabung.
At the moment some tourists are avoiding Berastagi while other tourists just want to stay overnight to watch Sinabung during night time from a safe distance in Berastagi
If you have not already booked in Berastagi you could keep your options open for the time being and decide on the rest of your program while you are with us.
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