Indonesian volcano erupts seven times in less than 24 hours

Sinabung volcano in North Sumatra province erupted seven times on February 5, 2017. The volcano last erupted in May 2016. Photo: Ivan Damanik/ZUMA Wire/dpa

Sinabung volcano in North Sumatra province erupted seven times on February 5, 2017. The volcano last erupted in May 2016. dpa Photo

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province erupted seven times on Sunday, local media reported.

“The eruptions occurred from midnight until 4:50 pm (1700 GMT Saturday until 0950 GMT Sunday),” volcanology agency official Arif Cahyo was quoted by Viva.co.id news portal as saying.

The ash spewed from the volcano was carried by winds to Berastagi, a tourist town in the Karo highlands south-east of the volcano, Cahyo added.

Local officials in Berastagi told locals and tourists to wear masks and eye protectors to avoid being exposed directly to the volcanic ash.

The volcanic activity put the surrounding area on the highest level of alert. Areas within a radius of 7 kilometres were closed to villagers, as thousands were displaced by the activity and are still living in temporary shelters.

Martinus Sitepu, head of Karo district disaster mitigation agency, said the volcano ejected material up to 5,000 metres into the air, Elshinta radio reported.

Mount Sinabung has been erupting periodically since September 2013, each time displacing tens of thousands people. – dpa

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