Thousands flee homes after volcano erupts in Indonesia
Powerful burst of hot ash and gravel shoots from Mount Sinabung in series of eruptions
A motorcyclist, with his face covered with ash and wearing a mask, stops to rest at Perteguhan village in Karo district, Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, today. Photograph: Roni Bintang/Reuters
A farmer sprays pesticide as Mount Sinabung spews ash into the air at Sibintun village in Karo district, Indonesia’s North Sumatra province. Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters
A powerful burst of hot ash and gravel has erupted from a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia, sending panicking villagers fleeing down the mountain.
Authorities raised the alert status to the highest level after a series of eruptions from Mount Sinabung yesterday. Six more eruptions early today sent volcanic debris as high as 2,000 metres into the air.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said about 15,000 people have been evacuated from 17 villages in the danger zone, a 5km area around the crater.