A volcano erupted on Indonesia’s Sumatra island Sunday spewing red-hot ash and rocks onto nearby villages and forcing thousands of villagers to flee, according officials.
The eruption occurred shortly before dawn on Mount Sinabung in Karo district, North Sumatra province.
“More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from areas within a three-kilometre (two-mile) radius of the volcano, and they are all safe,” Asren Nasution, the head of North Sumatra disaster agency, told AFP.
Five cultural ceremony halls had been converted into temporary shelters for those who fled.
Some 3,710 people have been evacuated so far, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a national disaster agency spokesman.
This was the second recent eruption of Sinabung, said Nugroho. After being dormant for almost 100 years, the volcano erupted in August and September of 2010, when 12,000 people were forced to flee.
There are dozens of active volcanoes in Indonesia which lies on major tectonic fault lines called the “Ring of Fire” between the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Indonesia’s most active volcano is Mount Merapi in central Java, which killed over 350 people in a series of eruptions in 2010. Image/EPA