Thousands evacuated as Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung erupts, spews ash 7km into the air

Residents flee the area following the eruption of Sinabung volcano

Photo: Officials say Mount Sinabung has erupted more than 40 times since the start of November. (AFP: Kharisma Tarigan)

(SOURCE)   Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano has erupted again, spewing volcanic ash that reached a height of seven kilometres.

Around 5,500 people are now staying in evacuation centres.

Local resident Replika Sitepu is among those staying at the sites at night but returning home during the day.

“When I arrived at my village to change my clothes and water my cabbage farm, suddenly I felt a tremor and heard a sound,” he said.

“I decided to come here and I saw the volcano eruption.”

Sinabung had been inactive for four centuries before erupting in August 2010.

Observation post official Hendra Gunawan says after a period of calm, the volcano started a series of eruptions early this month.

“Actually since the agency put the status of volcano on alert on November 3, there were more than 40 eruptions,” he said.

“(On Thursday) the eruption occurred that lasted for 17 minutes, and there was 7,000 metres high of volcanic ash.

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