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Makian (also Machian and Pulau Makian, where pulau means ‘island’) is a volcanic island, one of the Maluku Islands (Maluku Utara administrative division) in Indonesia. It lies near the southern end of a chain of volcanic islands off the western coast of Halmaherato (Halmahera region), to the south of Tidore and to the north of Kayoa and Bacan.[1]

The island is 10 kilometers wide, and its 1357-meter high summit consists of a large 1.5-kilometer wide crater, with a small lake on its Northeast side.[2] There are four parasitic cones on the western slopes of Makian. Makian volcano is also known as Mount Kiebesi (or Kie Besi).


Volcanic history

Makian volcano has had infrequent, but violent eruptions that destroyed villages on the island.

Its first recorded eruption was in the 1550s.[3] The eruptions of July 19, 1646, September 22, 1760 and December 28, 1861 are rated 4 in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program’s Large Volcano Explocivity Index.[4] Since the first known eruption in the 1550s, it has erupted seven times, four of which caused fatalities.[5]

The 1760 eruption of the volcano killed about three thousand inhabitants. It erupted in 1890, and was then dormant until July 1988, when a series of eruptions forced the temporary evacuation of the island’s entire population, then about fifteen thousand people

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