Since 29 May 2006, a mud volcano has been spewing out a hot, viscous and foul-smelling slurry in the district of Sidoarjo, on the eastern side of the island of Java, Indonesia. 12,000 people have been evacuated from the area.
Between 5,000 m3 and 150,000 m3 of mud is erupting from the volcano every day. The mud is coming from a pocket of pressurized hot water 2,700 metres below the surface. As it rises, the water mixes with sediments to form a viscous slurry of mud.
The cause of the eruption has not yet been established, but it could be linked to borehole drilling operations by an Indonesian company exploring for gas.
Initial attempts to plug the volcano vent failed and work began on holding dams to contain the mud flow.