Archipelago

Mt. Sinabung record-breaking
ash cloud

Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra, erupted again on Tuesday night in what has been called the most powerful blast since September, which created a volcanic-ash cloud that was 10-kilometers high.

This most recent eruption, since new activity began three weeks ago, occurred at 9:56 p.m. local time, on Tuesday.

Mt. Sinabung observation team reported that three small eruptions had occurred since Tuesday’s major blast.

The first eruption occurred at 2:40 a.m. local time on Wednesday, the second less than two hours later at 4:05 a.m., and the third at 6:19 a.m.

Tuesday’s eruption, residents said, was accompanied by a thunderous boom and the cloud and lava spewed out by the volcano was visible to the naked eye. The explosion was heard 30-kilometers away in Berastagi and Kabanjahe, which have been affected by the volcanic ash.

“This is the most powerful blast I’ve ever seen,” Naek Sembiring, 40, a displaced resident from Bekerah village, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Many local residents have been displaced by this recent bout of volcanic activity and have had to take refuge in temporary shelters. Naek is one of 156 people (64 families) who are staying at a disaster relief post at the Pantekosta Indonesia Church in Simpang Empat district.

According to Karo administration official data, as of Wednesday, the number of displaced residents was 6,211. They are accommodated in 17 evacuation sites across four districts: Kabanjahe, Naman Teran, Payung and Simpang Empat.(ebf)

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