[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Indonesian volcano erupts more than 50 times

Authorities extend danger zone around Mount Sinabung, where eruptions have forced evacuation of more than 20,000 people.

Last updated: 05 Jan 2014 03:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Officials have tried to increase shelter space to accommodate the growing number of evacuees [EPA]

Indonesian authorities have extended a danger zone around a rumbling volcano in the country's west after it erupted more than 50 times, spewing blistering gas farther than expected.

The eruptions on Saturday sent searing lava streaming out of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province and down the southeastern slopes up to 5km away.

"This outpour is the biggest we've seen in all the recent eruptions," said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

This outpour is the biggest we've seen in all the recent eruptions.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, National Disaster Mitigation Agency

The volcano's danger zone to the southeast was extended to seven kilometres from five.

On Sunday, the volcano was still spitting clouds of gas and lava as high as 4,000 metres, but no casualties were reported.

Sinabung, the province's highest volcano, has been erupting relentlessly since September.

More than 20,000 people have been evacuated from nearby villages and brought into temporary shelters.

"Of course we are worried about our houses, villages and also our farms that are damaged, but we cannot do anything here," said Purnama Surbakti, who owns a house at the slope of the volcano.

New shelters

The local government and Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency have tried to increase shelter space to accommodate the growing number of evacuees.

"We are providing new places for them, but they prefer to stay with their relatives, neighbours and also close friends. We have provided 11 new temporary shelters for them already," said Prince Meyer Putong, head of the emergency response team.

Sinabung is one of nearly 130 active volcanoes in the world's fourth-most populated country, straddling major tectonic fault lines known as the Ring of Fire.

The most deadly eruption in recent years was of Mount Merapi in 2010, near the densely populated city of Yogyakarta in central Java. More than 350 people were killed.

329

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list