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Published on : Saturday, June 6, 2015
Officials reported that a volcano erupted for the third time in as many months on the western Indonesian island of Sumatra, forcing hundreds of villagers to evacuate. Thick plumes of volcanic ash and flowing lava are spewing from Mount Sinabung.
According to reports earlier in the week, Mount Sinabung’s lava dome, a rounded mound built by thick magma, had increased volume and was unstable. The national disaster management agency for Indonesia raised the alert status level for the volcano on Friday. Volcanic activity will continue to be monitored by Indonesian authorities.
Because of the increased volcanic activity in the region during the past two weeks, about 2,700 people have been evacuated from the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
For the past week, pyroclastic flows — avalanche-like hot ash, rocks and gas — have been rushing down the sides of Mount Sinabung. These pyroclastic flows can cascade down a volcano as fast as 60 miles per hour. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) temperatures can soar above 932 degrees Fahrenheit.
The country’s government agencies have arranged public shelters and kitchens to support those who have evacuated.