• Breaking News

    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Mt Sinabung Erupts Again

    Tobapos -- Mount Sinabung, located in Karo District in North Sumatra, erupted again on Wednesday at 1:43 pm local time, a spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said.

    The Sinabung volcano spewed ash clouds to heights of some two kilometers southeastward, Nugroho said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The eruption lasted 907 seconds, he added.

    Nugroho further stated, "(The volcanic activity) was not visible because of the clouds. From 6 am to 12 am local time, there were 44 earthquakes of low frequency, 11 hybrid earthquakes, incessant tremors and 32 avalanches."

    Authorities have declared a Level 3 volcano alert.

    "The region is still witnessing a lot of earthquakes and the formation of a lava dome is also potentially high," the spokesman noted.

    "At present, there are 4,729 refugees (1,440 families) staying in 17 refugee camps. Some 17,506 people (5,020 families) from 21 villages have returned home," Nugroho added.

    There are 6,179 people (2,053 families) staying in temporary shelters. These refugees have been provided with rented homes and farms by the government.

    Residents of the villages of Sukameriah, Bekerah and Simacem will have to be relocated.

    Since September 2013, more than 30 thousand people across 34 villages have been displaced as a result of the sporadic volcanic eruptions of the 2,600-m Mount Sinabung.

    The volcano had been inactive for 400 years before rumbling back to life in 2010 and claiming several lives.

    In the past year, refugees have been forced to live in modest, but crowded, refugee camps with limited access to clean water and sanitation facilities. They have lost their homes, belongings, crops, jobs and schools, and many of them are reportedly suffering from stress.

    Authorities raised the alert status for Mount Sinabung to the highest level in November 2013. The government had declared the areas within a five-kilometer radius of the volcano as a danger zone that no one is allowed to enter. (ant/adm)

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