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Indonesia Volcano Mount Sinabung Erupts, Sending 13,000 Fleeing

Image: Indonesia Volcano Mount Sinabung Erupts, Sending 13,000 Fleeing

By Clyde Hughes   |   Monday, 04 Nov 2013 07:32 AM

More than 13,000 residents were evacuated from villages after the Mount Sinabung volcano, on the western Indonesian island of Sumatra, erupted on Sunday afternoon.oon.

It was the second time Mount Sinabung had erupted this year and the third time since 2010, according to past media reports. Before that, it had been four centuries since the area shown any volcanic activity, according to the Jakarta Post.

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency ordered evacuations in four surrounding villages in the area, 40 miles southwest of the Sumatra provincial capital of Medan, after the eruption, reported Bloomberg.

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Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a disaster agency spokesman, told Bloomberg that the mountain gushed ash more than four miles into the air while volcanic quakes increased in the vicinity.

Indonesian officials told Agence France-Presse that military troops and police assisted in evacuating residents from the villages after the first eruption. It was not known how long they will have to remain away from their homes, AFP reported.

"The number of evacuees will rise," Nugroho told Agence France-Presse.

In September's eruption, the Mount Sinabung rained volcanic ash and small rocks on six villages at the foot of the volcano, sending residents fleeing for their lives, according to the Jakarta Globe.

Indonesian television reported that the September eruption also disrupted flights at Medan’s Kualanamu International Airport, delaying some airplanes while grounding others bound for Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Nias, in Aceh, wrote the Jakarta Globe.

Reuters noted that Mount Sinabung is one of nearly 130 active volcanoes in the world's fourth-most populated country that straddles what researchers call the "Pacific Ring of Fire" because of its volcanic and earthquake activity.

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AFP reported that dozens of Indonesia's active volcanoes lines along major tectonic fault lines between the Pacific and Indian oceans. AFP wrote that five people were killed and hundreds evacuated when a volcano on a tiny island in East Nusa Tenggara province erupted in August.

Indonesia's most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, killed more than 350 people and left more homeless in a series of violent eruptions in 2010, according to AFP.

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