Mount Sinabung erupts,
spewing a vast cloud of smoke and ash high into the air for a second
day after springing to life
for the first time in four centuries on August 29
thousands flee as volcano erupts in Indonesia
One person died
and thousands were evacuated Sunday as a volcano on the Indonesian
island of Sumatra erupted for the first time in 400 years, shooting
black smoke and ash up to 1,500 metres into
Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra Monday erupted
for a second time in as many days, forcing thousands of residents to
join the more than 20,000 already in evacuation centres, officials
The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre said the
eruption occurred at 6.30 a.m. (2330 GMT Sunday), belching a column
of smoke up to 2,000 metres into the sky.
The 2,451-metre-high volcano erupted for the first time in more than
four centuries early Sunday, prompting the evacuation of thousands
of residents from its slopes.
Sunday’s eruption came only hours after the local government allowed
residents to return to their homes, assuring them that the volcano
was not dangerous.
The volcano, about 1,300 km north-west of Jakarta, has been seen
heating up since late Thursday, causing people living on the slopes
Two people died in the first eruption, and the number of refugees
had reached more than 27,000 by mid-Monday, said Muhammad Irsal of
the province’s Red Cross chapter.
A number of the evacuees were suffering from respiratory problems,
fever and diarrhoea, he said.
“We desperately need more masks, mineral water, medicines and
foodstuffs,” Irsal said.
Vulcanologists upgraded Sinabung’s danger status to the top level
minutes before Sunday’s eruption, and revised its status from a
dormant to an active volcano.
“We’re unable to predict for how long the eruption will last,”
vulcanologist Mohammad Hendrasto told DPA. “We also cannot predict
whether there will be a larger eruption, or if the activities will
“But we’ve installed equipment to monitor further developments,”
As many as 31 villages are located inside the official danger area,
with 12 hamlets within six km of the crater classified as the most
dangerous place, requiring all inhabitants to be evacuated.
Volcanic ash was reported to have covered hectares of crops, but
Hendrasto said there were no immediate reports of damage on
Besides ordering the evacuations, experts also warned residents to
wear face masks and told people living along rivers to watch out for
possible lava-induced floods.
Indonesia has the highest density of volcanoes in the world with
about 500 in the 5,000-km-long archipelago nation. Nearly 130 are
active and 69 are listed as dangerous.