The Jakarta Post
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) announced on Sunday that the status of Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra, had been raised from waspada (caution) to siaga (alert) due to an increase in volcanic activities.
BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) had raised Sinabung's alert level as increased seismic activity was detected in the volcano.
'Based on volcano-monitoring data, it was found that increased seismic activities had occurred in Mt Sinabung while it continued to spew ash rising kilometers into the air,' said Sutopo in a statement on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.
It was said a thundering sound was heard for around 10 minutes on Sunday morning as volcanic ash rose to around 7,000 meters above the peak of the volcano.
Sutopo said with the increased alert level, it was recommended that no human activity should take place within a radius of 3-kilometers from Mt Sinabung crater.
Residents living in villages near the volcano, such as Bekerah, Nardinding, Simacem and Sukameriah, which are located within the radius of 3-kilometers and right in front of the crater, will be evacuated.
'The evacuation aims to protect the local residents from the effects caused by the increased volcanic activities of Mt.Sinabung,' Sutopo said.
Large plumes of smoke rose from Mt. Sinabung crater on Saturday. The North Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency said the volcanic activity in the last few days posed no danger to local settlements. (ebf)
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