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Nazli Ismail, a geophysicist at University of Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh on Sumatra island, urged caution and stressed there was no concrete evidence to show they are linked.
"People talk about the butterfly effect. The concept is that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it can cause a catastrophe," he said. "So it is possible for the earthquake to trigger the volcano eruption, but it's not conclusive."
Two famous examples of stratovolcanoes are Krakatoa, best known for its catastrophic eruption in 1883 and Vesuvius, famous for its destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. Both eruptions claimed thousands of lives. In modern times, Mount Saint Helens and Mount Pinatubo have erupted catastrophically, with lesser losses of lives.
A second eruption also took place with a separate volcano, named the Son of Krakatoa, erupting in Java and spewing lava into the air, just minutes after Mount Soputan started to erupt.