On June 5, 2014 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Indonesia and captured a true-color image of Sangeang Api. The red outline indicates where the thermal bands on the instrument detected temperatures higher than expected and is suggested of hot magma at the volcano’s crater. A plume of volcanic ash rises from the crater and blows westward.
After a year of quiescence, Sangeang Api experienced a major explosive eruption on May 30, 2014, sending ash to about 65,000 feet (20 km) altitude. The ash and SO2 plume reached Australia on May 31, causing all flights from Darwin airport to be cancelled. Since the eruption, activity has continued at Sangeang Api, but at a lowered level. It was reported that the Indonesian Civil Defense distributed more than 15,000 dust masks to residents of Bima, a town lying about 40 km southwest of the volcano.