The 2,460-metre volcano on the island of Sumatra, has been erupting sporadically since September forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.

Mount Sinabung eruption

Indonesian Volcano Mount Sinabung spews out rivers of molten lava and giant plumes of ash as it continues to erupt for a fourth successive day.  

The 2,460-metre volcano on the island of Sumatra, had been dormant for 400 years before it erupted in August 2010 killing at least two people and displacing 30,000 others. An eruption in February this year killed 16 people.

Indonesian authorities said the flow of ash and molten rock has now reached four and half kilometers down the slope and is threatening nearby populated villages. The ash clouds have reached three kilometers to the sky.

The latest series of eruptions began on October 5. forcing hundreds of people to leave their homes. Mount Sinabung is now among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia and has been sporadically erupting since September.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. 

But despite volcanos being notoriously hard to predict, it is difficult to keep farmers away because the slopes of the mountains are highly fertile.

In 2010, 324 people were killed over two months when Indonesia’s most volatile volcano, Mount Merapi, roared into life. 

The moving pillars of ash and air are caused by the burning ‘pyroclastic flow’ heating the air directly above it. This air rises, sucking still more into the sky above.

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