Thousands flee rumbling volcano in Indonesia

Over 1,200 evacuated in Indonesia following volcanic activity at Mount Sinabung

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Authorities raised alerts at the beginning of the month after detecting increase in activity at Mount Sinabung which is a highly active volcano in Indonesia's Sumatra island.

“Two villages with 1,274 people were evacuated to safer locations around 10 kilometres away,” according to Asep Sukarna, a local military commander.

Huge plumes of ash and smoke have been seen rising from the crater. Scientists are worried the volcano could pose more dangers in the coming weeks.

"Our worry is that Sinabung remains very active till now and the hot ash still threatening the neighbouring areas," said Armen Putra, the head of Sinabung volcano observation station in the town of Karo.

Mount Sinabung is one of nearly 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which stands along the "Ring of Fire" volcanic belt around the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It had been dormant for more than 400 years before its eruption in 2010.  

The volcano has become increasingly active in recent years. Indonesian authorities increased the  "danger" alert on June 2 to its highest level for volcanic activity since early this month.

A wave of up to 30 eruptions earlier in February 2014 with transuding pyroclastic flows killed at least 11 people and forced tens of thousands to flee.

Volcanoes are a common threat in Indonesia, especially for many living in the vicinity of fertile slopes.

TRTWorld and agencies