At least 14 people were killed, while three others were severely
injured when Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North
Sumatra, spewed ash again on Saturday.
As of Saturday evening, the bodies of the 14 fatalities have
all been transported from a number of areas in Suka Meriah village, which is
located within a 3-kilometer radius of the volcano, while three others had yet
to be found, Mt. Sinabung Eruption
head Jhonson Tarigan told The Jakarta Post.
Rescuers, he added, had to stop the evacuation process due
to fears of more eruptions. Currently, the evacuation zone is between 5 and 7
km on the southeast slope of the volcano.
Among the fatalities that had been identified were Alexander
Sembiring, student; Daud Surbakti, 17, student; David, 17, student; Dipa
Nusantara, 17, student; Mahal Sembiring, 25, elementary school teacher; Rizal
Sahputera, 23, journalist; Santun Siregar, 25, university student; and Teken
The injured residents were Sehat Sembiring, 48; Surya
Sembiring, 21; and Doni Milala, 60. The three of them were believed to have
been visiting a family grave and their abandoned homes when the volcano spewed
This is the first direct impact of the Mt. Sinabung
eruptions. Before the Saturday incident, the ongoing eruptions have already
claimed the lives of 31 evacuees, as a result of various illnesses such as
breathing difficulties, depression, asthma and hypertension.
Jhonson said the remains of several fatalities were
transported from the area at around 4 p.m. before being taken to Kabanjahe General Hospital
for identification, while the three wounded residents were rushed to Evarina Etatham Hospital
in Kabanjahe to receive treatment for severe burns.
“The bodies of the
dead victims were completely burned and stiff when we found them,” Jhonson said,
adding that he still has no idea why the victims were in the area on Saturday.
According to some residents, some of the fatalities are believed
to be students from Medan
who were conducting a survey of the area around the volcano.
Alvian Ginting, 43, a resident of Suka Meriah village, said
that the bodies of four people were discovered by a villager around 400 meters
from the village. Residents immediately reported the incident to officers at a nearby
mitigation post in Kabanjahe.