Sinabung erupts, poses risk of cold lava flood
Gemma Holliani Cahya
The Jakarta Post
Mount Sinabung in the North Sumatra regency of Karo has erupted once again, spewing a pyroclastic flow and volcanic ash into the sky.
The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) recorded the eruption at 2:45 a.m. on Thursday.
The eruption, which lasted six minutes, did not harm any residents, as thousands of people living within a radius of 7 kilometers from Sinabung's crater had been evacuated from the area amid escalating volcanic activity since 2015.
"There are neither casualties nor additional evacuees," National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a written statement on Thursday.
Since its alert status was raised to the highest level on June 2, 2015, Sinabung has erupted numerous times, with the latest eruption occurring on Wednesday morning, spewing volcanic ash as high as 1.5 km into the sky.
Sutopo, however, reminded the locals and tourists not to enter Sinabung's danger zone, since volcanic activity was expected to continue.
People living near rivers fed by water flowing from the mountain, for instance the Laborus River, must be aware of the possibility of a cold lava flood, particularly since rainfall is forecast to increase.
Last year, a six-year old girl was killed in a cold lava flood that hit a village in Karo. Meanwhile in 2010, when Sinabung erupted for the first time after 410 years, a farmer from Karo died after being swept away by cold lava. (ipa)
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