Sept. 23, 2011 — Will the site of the world's deadliest volcano erupt with deadly force again?
Increased rumblings from Indonesia's Mount Tambora have experts asking that question. Given the potential consequences, experts have raised the volcano alert to its second-highest level.
The 1815 volcanic eruption at Mount Tambora was the largest one in recorded history. It killed at least 71,000 people. The sulfur dioxide and other chemicals that the eruption spewed into the atmosphere blocked sunlight and cooled the Earth, creating the "Year Without a Summer."
Experts are now saying that the volcano is ready to erupt again. A sequence of earthquakes has "been shaking the island at increasing frequency since April," according to the Washington Post.
No one knows how big the eruption may be. Some predict it is unlikely to repeat the deadly killing blast of the past. Nonetheless, "active disaster preparedness is underway with evacuation routes mapped and armed forces pre-deployed if the worst occurs (alert status reaching the highest level)," according to the Washington Post.