Mount Sinabung spews hot ash some 5,000 metres high into the sky in Indonesia’s North Sumatra region on Tuesday.—AFP
Mount Sinabung spews hot ash some 5,000 metres high into the sky in Indonesia’s North Sumatra region on Tuesday.—AFP

MEDAN: An Indonesian volcano erupted on Tuesday morning spewing a spectacular column of ash thousands of metres into a powder blue sky.

Vulcanologists recorded 13 separate blasts as Mount Sinabung leapt to life, belching debris up to 5,000 metres above Sumatra.

There was no immediate danger to life or property, authorities said, with a five-kilometre ring around the volcano having been left unoccupied over recent years.

No evacuation orders have been issued, and there has been no reported flight disruption.

But locals are taking no chances.

“The residents are scared, many are staying indoors to avoid the thick volcanic ash,” Roy Bangun, 41, told AFP. Muhammad Nurul Asrori, a monitoring officer at Sinabung, said Tuesday’s plume of smoke and ash was the largest he had seen since 2010, and warned that it could still get bigger.

“The large lava dome at any time could burst, causing a bigger avalanche of hot clouds,” he said.

Sinabung, a 2,460-metre volcano, was dormant for centuries before roaring back to life in 2010 when an eruption killed two people.

After another period of inactivity, it erupted again in 2013 and has remained highly active since.

In 2014, an eruption killed at least 16 people, while seven died in a 2016 blast.

Indonesia — an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and islets — has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

It sits on the “Ring of Fire”, a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circling the Pacific Ocean where frequent seismic activity occurs.

Mount Merapi on Java island, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, also erupted this week, spewing lava down one of its flanks.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2021

Opinion

The ECI headache
08 May 2021

The ECI headache

The ECI sat mute while BJP held huge rallies without following SOPs.
Engaging the enemy
08 May 2021

Engaging the enemy

The ghost of the Musharraf formula has started to haunt the current backchannel process.
Will OIC confront France?
Updated 08 May 2021

Will OIC confront France?

For Pakistan to keep its GSP-Plus status it will have to show the EU that it treats its blasphemy accused fairly.
Standing by Kashmir
Updated 07 May 2021

Standing by Kashmir

A comprehensive failure of governance is always a comprehensive moral failure of the governors.

Editorial

Updated 08 May 2021

Delayed poll debate

THE debate on electoral reforms is going nowhere. Even though the major political parties say reforms are critical,...
08 May 2021

Reducing deficit

THE numbers show that the government has managed to arrest growth in fiscal deficit — the difference between the...
08 May 2021

Rise in dog bites

ON Wednesday, an unusually high number of dog-bite cases were reported in Larkana, when 19 people — the majority ...
Reprimanding envoys
Updated 07 May 2021

Reprimanding envoys

The prime minister should have engaged with honest and respectable officers to identify how solutions can be found.
07 May 2021

Foreign funding case

THE foreign funding case against the PTI has become a never-ending tale. It has been dragging on for years and after...
07 May 2021

Water woes

IRRIGATION experts have voiced concern over the decline of freshwater flow through Kotri barrage, which has led to...