Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung erupted again this week, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. The eruption isn’t the first this year, as the active volcano awoke from a three-year slumber last month.
More than 5,000 people were evacuated from towns and villages in North Sumatra’s Karo Regency since the eruptions began in October, damaging crop harvests both with the lack of harvesting and the ash fall. The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation warned residents not to venture within two miles of the mountain.
A pyroclastic flow (fast-moving avalanche of ash, lava fragments, and air) was spotted racing down the peak on Monday. Since then, the volcano has pushed out one to two ash explosions every day. One of the explosions was shown on Friday in an amazing photo that was passed around on Twitter.
— Anthony Sagliani (@anthonywx) November 15, 2013
Mount Sinabung is a very active volcano located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area along the Pacific Ocean that produces volcanoes and earthquakes. It is home to 452 volcanoes and about 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes happen along it.
After Monday’s eruption, Karo administration spokesman Jhonson Tarigan stated, “Mt. Sinabung’s strong eruption today unleashed volcanic ash, pyroclastic clouds and blazing lava, threatening residents in nearby villages, including Gurukinayan. We evacuated them all.” One person has been reported dead from the volcano’s eruptions since it returned to “active” status in 2010.