Jakarta — Thousands of people have fled as the Indonesian volcano Mount Sinabung erupted eight times in a few hours late Saturday and early Sunday, spewing red-hot ash and rocks up to eight kilometers (five miles) in the air, according to reports.
The Indonesian volcano has been erupting on and off since September, and the thousands who left their homes overnight brought the total number of displaced to about 12,000, said the National Disaster Agency.
“People panicked last night as the eruption was accompanied by a loud thunderous sound and vibrations. Then it started raining down rocks,” local government official Robert Peranginangin said.
The recent eruptions prompted the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center to raise the volcano’s status on Sunday to the highest level, “siaga” or “red alert”, reported the Jakarta Post.
Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) head Hendrasto said Indonesian volcano Mt Sinabung’s most recent eruption prompted the body to raise the volcano’s status on Sunday to the highest level, “siaga” or “red alert”.