The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra, erupted at 4:15 p.m. local time, on Sunday.
Through text messages, BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said information on the volcano’s eruption was conveyed by military personnel in Bekerah, a village which was around 2 kilometers away from the Mt. Sinabung crater.
As many as 1,293 residents from Mardinding and Sukameriah villages have been evacuated due to an increase in seismic activities of the volcano. The figure is likely to increase as more residents from three villages – Bekerah, Simacem and Sukameriah – are prepared to evacuate to Namanteran.
“They are ready for evacuation,” said Sutopo on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.
He said Mt Sinabung was spewing thick black smoke from its crater, covering parts of the volcano. Its volcanic activity continued to increase with different levels of vibration, he went on.
Sutopo said the BNPB had urged the Karo administration to declare the emergency status of the eruption and to hold a coordination meeting with related stakeholders.
“It also needs to create an emergency response post and to coordinate with the North Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency,” he said. (ebf)