Saturday, May 30, 2009

massive volcano

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Scientists discover massive underwater volcano
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Scientists scouring the ocean floor to study the nature of tsunamis discovered a massive underwater volcano off Indonesia's western coast, reports Antara news agency on Friday.
The 15,000-foot- (4,600-meter) high mountain spans 30 miles (50 kilometers) at its base, Yusuf Surachman Djajadihardja, a marine geologist with the government's Agency for Assessment and Application Technology, said Friday.

"Its discovery was completely unexpected. But it is not immediately clear if the volcano is active," he said, adding that if the volcano erupted, it would be "very" dangerous.

An international team of scientists discovered the volcano 205 miles (330 kilometers) west of Sumatra island while carrying out a survey of the Indian Ocean floor earlier this month, Djajadihardja said.

The tip of the volcano is 1,380 meters (1,260 yards) below the water's surface.
The goal of their research was to better understand the cause of disasters like the 2004 Asian tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen nations, more than half of them in Indonesia, which was closest to the epicenter.

Indonesia straddles a chain of fault lines and volcanoes known as the Pacific ''Ring of Fire'' and is prone to seismic activity. - BERNAMA

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