Tuesday, June 16, 2015

More than 10,000 flee erupting Indonesian volcano

More than 10,000 villagers have fled a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia this month, most in recent days after a series of violent eruptions, an official said Tuesday.
 Authorities raised the alert status of Mount Sinabung, on Sumatra island, to the highest level at the start of June after detecting a sharp increase in activity.

The volcano, which came back to life two years ago after a period of inactivity, erupted violently at the weekend, spewing hot ash and rocks high into the air.

Sinabung -- which killed 16 people in a fierce eruption last year -- was continuing to belch out a thick plume of smoke high into the sky Tuesday, covering homes far away with a coating of ash.

Around 7,500 residents have been evacuated from their villages following the weekend eruptions, disaster agency official Tri Budiarto told AFP.

They "left their homes on motorcycles, in cars and on military trucks. They were from six villages located in the danger zone south and southeast of the volcano," he said.

Several thousand people fled their homes at the start of the month when the alert status was lifted, and the total number of evacuees now stands at 10,714, said the disaster agency.

The evacuees are sheltering in government buildings and places of worship in Kabanjahe town, around 10 kilometres (six miles) from Sinabung.

Volcanic activity remained high Tuesday, with Sinabung spewing out rocks and hot gas over a distance of three kilometres four times since early morning, said Armen Putra, head of the volcano observation post.

"We could still feel tremors. Ash one to two millimetres thick covered roads and homes located 15 kilometres away," he said.

"It could take weeks before it eases, but for now, it is dangerous for people living nearby so we have recommended for them to evacuate."

After Sinabung rumbled back to life in 2013, more than 10,000 people fled from nearby villages. Some have returned home but more than 6,000 of the original evacuees are still living in shelters.

The volcano has also had a devastating economic impact, with the disaster agency estimating it caused more than $100 million in damage last year and in 2013 in a broad range of areas, including infrastructure, farming and tourism.

Sinabung is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of seismic activity running around the basin of the Pacific Ocean.



  1. Indonésie: 10 000 personnes évacuées après des éruptions du Sinabung ...

    Plus de 10 000 villageois vivant à proximité du volcan Sinabung dans l'ouest de l'Indonésie ont été évacués depuis le début du mois, la plupart ces derniers jours, à la suite de violentes éruptions, a indiqué mardi un responsable local.

    Environ 7500 habitants ont quitté leur domicile "en motocyclettes, voitures, camions militaires" après les dernières éruptions, a déclaré à l'AFP Tri Budiarto, un responsable de l'Agence nationale des catastrophes naturelles.

    Quelques 2500 villageois avaient été évacués au début du mois, lorsque les autorités ont déclenché le plus haut niveau d'alerte à la suite d'une forte augmentation de l'activité volcanique, portant le nombre total à 10 714 personnes, a-t-il ajouté.

    Toutes ont trouvé refuge dans des bâtiments publics et lieux de culte à Kabanjahe, une ville à une dizaine de km du volcan, sur l'île de Sumatra...........rtbf.be

  2. Villagers in the vicinity of Mount Sinabung volcano continued to be evacuated Tuesday, with the local administration saying that a combined 10,714 people had now been moved to nearby shelters...

    Karo's regent Terkelin Brahmana told Anadolu Agency that 7,500 people were evacuated in army vehicles Tuesday alone.

    The volcano erupted for the first time this month on June 12, less than 14-days after its warning status was raised to the highest level.

    The eruption triggered pyroclastic flows -- fast-moving current of hot gas and rock -- that reached as far as 3 kilometers south of the mountain and spewed volcanic ash around 500 meters into the sky.

    The Geological Agency is concerned about a massing of lava at the peak of Sinabung’s crater. With a volume of 3 million cubic meters, it could flow around 6 kilometers down the volcano’s slopes....aa.com.tr

  3. Thousands of villagers are refusing to leave their homes on the slopes of one of Indonesia’s most volatile volcanoes despite warnings that it is poised for a powerful eruption...

    Mount Sinabung, one of about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, has been at the highest alert level for nearly two weeks. On Tuesday, at least 48 avalanches of hot ash barreled down its slopes, with the biggest reaching 2.5 km (1.5 miles) southeastward. The volcano in northern Sumatra, one of Indonesia’s main islands, has also been shooting smoke and ash more than 700 meters (2,300 feet) into the air.

    Several thousand people, including women carrying babies in slings, have left the mountain in police trucks since Monday after the volcanic activity intensified over the weekend. Some streamed down the scorched slopes on motorcycles, their faces caked in ash.

    But Subur Tambun, who heads the local disaster mitigation agency, said only 10,000 of about 33,000 people living within the main danger zone have moved into tent camps or government buildings a safe distance from the volcano. No injuries have been reported from the recent eruptions........japantimes.co.jp


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