Mount Sinabung, Indonesia Volcano, Erupts Again, Spurring Mass Evacuations Of Locals [PHOTOS]

Mt. Sinabung, towering 1.5 miles above sea level, spews thick smoke as 1,300 people are evacuated from their homes.

By Gabrielle Jonas on November 4, 2013 10:32 AM EST

(Reuters) Thousands were forced to evacuate their homes after Mount Sinabung erupted in Indonesia.
(Reuters) Thousands were forced to evacuate their homes after Mount Sinabung erupted in Indonesia.

Mount Sinabung erupted for the third time in three months on the western Indonesian island of Sumatra late Sunday afternoon, Reuters has reported, forcing about 1,300 people from four villages around the volcano to evacuate their homes.

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The volcano is located 88 km (54.7 miles) from the provincial capital, Medan, spewed a 7-km (4.3-mile) column of ash into the air, prompting authorities to impose a 3-km (1.24 mile) evacuation radius. There are no reports of casualties.

Mount Sinabung, towering 2,460 meters (1.52 miles) above sea level in Karo regency, North Sumatra, was spewing thick black smoke from its crater, according to The Jakarta Post. As the black smoke hid the volcano partially from view, its volcanic activity increased with fluctuating seismic vibrations. Increase in those vibrations prompted evacuations of residents from Mardinding and Sukameriah villages. Early estimates suggest that about 1,300 people were evacuated, but the figure is likely to increase as more residents from three villages — Bekerah, Simacem and Sukameriah — are prepared to evacuate to Namanteran, The Jakarta Post reported.

(Reuters) Officials from PVMBG watch the activity of Mount Sinabung at Simpang Empat village in Karo district.
(Reuters) Officials from PVMBG watch the activity of Mount Sinabung at Simpang Empat village in Karo district.

Mount Sinabung is one of nearly 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which straddles the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire," a belt of seismic and volcanic activity roughly surrounding the Pacific Ocean. It includes the Andes Mountains of South America, the coastal regions of western Central America and North America, Japan, the island of Taiwan, eastern Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand.

(Reuters) A child refugee lies down at temporary shelter as a safety precaution after Sinabung volcano erupted at Tiganderket village in Karo district, Indonesia's north Sumatra province.
(Reuters) A child refugee lies down at temporary shelter as a safety precaution after Sinabung volcano erupted at Tiganderket village in Karo district, Indonesia's north Sumatra province.

Thousands of Sumatrans were displaced in August 2010 after Mount Sinabung — quiet for more than 400 years — erupted with three explosions which sent lava flowing its slope of the volcano. For almost 410 years the volcano showed no dangerous volcanic activity, so it was categorized as a dormant or type B volcano. The eruption set a historical precedent, as it was the first time in Sumatran history that a type B volcano suddenly turned into a dangerous, type A volcano, The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center said at the time.

(Reuters) Students wear masks to protect themselves from volcanic ash from Sunday's Mount Sinabung eruption, in school in Tiganderket.
(Reuters) Students wear masks to protect themselves from volcanic ash from Sunday's Mount Sinabung eruption, in school in Tiganderket.

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