Volcano in western Indonesia rumbles sending hot ash flying

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A volcano in western Indonesia has sent a new, powerful burst of hot ash into the air.  The volcano, which is located in North Sumatra province, is quite a distance from the popular tourist area of Bali, but much closer to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

National disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says Mount Sinabung erupted for about 15 minutes Wednesday, creating an avalanche of hot clouds as far away as 2 kilometres (about a mile) from the peak.

Nugroho says the eruption of the 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) volcano in North Sumatra province didn’t cause more evacuations, and its alert status remains at the third-highest level.

More than 22,000 people were evacuated from the area after eruptions earlier this year that killed at least 16 people. Most have returned home, but about 4,700 remain in evacuation centres.

Mount Sinabung, among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, has sporadically erupted since 2010 after being dormant for 400 years.