April 2015 – INDONESIA – The Mount Sinabung volcano in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province erupted on Thursday afternoon, spewing a column of ash by up to two kilometers into the sky and triggering a small-scale evacuation, an official said on Friday. A powerful burst of hot ash was spread from the rumbling volcano, heading four kilometers to the south of the crater and one kilometer to the southeast, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, Xinhua reported. Some of the villagers living near the volcano were evacuated to safer places, Sutopo said. ‘Some of residents of Sibintun village have to be evacuated by force by officials to other places,’ he told Xinhua.
Others at the Sigrang Garang, Kutagunggung and Sukanalu villages located three kilometers away from the crater were panic-stricken as they prepared for evacuation, according to Sutopo. ‘The officials keep conducting patrol and monitoring at the field,’ he said. Roads were damaged as a result of lava floods, Sutopo said. The 2,475-metre Mount Sinabung had erupted on June 29 after erupting on and off from September 2013 to February 2014, which left 15 people dead and more than 30,000 others internally displaced. Mount Sinabung is among over 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheavals owing to its location on the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’. –Vartha