Sep 29, 2017

This day in history: Koloumbos volcano eruption


Koloumbos is an underwater volcano 8 km NE of Santorini whose existence was unknown until 1650. The undersea volcanic activity started in January 1649 and until September 1650 an underwater volcano cone with a circumference of 30 km and a height of 300 meters was built, while its top was barely visible over the surface.
The large eruption occurred on 29 September 1650. 4 billion tons of molten rock were ejected into the air and pumice started floating on the sea, making it look like land. A tidal wave of 10 meters swept across the coast of Santorini and through the Aegean but caused no victims. In contrast, the volcanic gases (hydrogen sulfide) were blown with the NE winds to Santorini killing 50 people and about 1000 animals. This period became known as "the time of evil" and to exorcise the evil, the inhabitants of the island built the beautiful church “Lady of Good” in the northeast coast of the island, facing underwater Koloumbos. (Koloumbos beach on the photo)