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Residents of the village of Sitoluama in the North Sumatra district of Indonesia are in a state of panic as the ground beneath their homes is becoming hot and emitting steam that smells like sulfur and gas. When you live near Lake Toba, that’s a cause for alarm since the lake fills the caldera of the Toba supervolcano which erupted around 70,000 years ago, causing the largest known eruption on Earth in the last 2.5 million years. Is Toba getting ready to blow and change the global climate again?
Merdeka.com - Villagers Sitoluama, District Laguboti, Toba Samosir, North Sumatra, troubled by unusual events. Ground beside the houses steaming hot and smelling like gas.
Suspected hazardous vapors appear on Wednesday (27/5), exactly in the yard beside the house Purasa, located about ten kilometers from Balige, Toba Samosir regency capital.
"Hot steam and smelling like gas coming out of the pores of the soil it is feared to threaten the safety of people around, so we report them to the government," said one resident, Purasa Silalahi in Sitoluama, Saturday (30/5).
Indeed, continued Purasa, since the last three weeks the temperature around the house is very hot, both day and night. In fact, ceramic floor house feels hot.
Feeling suspicious of these conditions, he intends to dig the ground next to his house and turns as deep as 50 centimeters shaped steam to heat the smoke arose from the pit excavation. Due to fear of the conditions that made excavation, the hole covered immediately returned.
"Steam and smell make us feel fear gas that can be burned, so that the findings are reported directly to the head of the local village," explains Purasa.
Village Head Sitoluama, Moppo Old Pangaribuan said hot steam disturbing residents had been reported to the Department of Environment Toba Samosir.
Admittedly, in the area of research is already been there 20 years ago and there is no sign or marker that in that area there is oil.
"In the past there was a study in this area. But the results until now there is no certainty, and now suddenly appeared in the form of gas. We hope that relevant agencies can re-examining the sake of convenience of the public," said Mappo.
Meanwhile, Head of the Environment Agency Toba Samosir, Parulian Siregar said it was continuing reports of citizens discovery on discovery of disturbing the hot steam.
"We are trying to coordinate with the Department of Mines and Energy of North Sumatra and stakeholders to determine definite vapor source, including handling solutions," said Parulian.