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Mount Sinabung spews volcanic materials into the sky in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, today.
Mount Sinabung spews volcanic materials into the sky in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, today.
Image: Roone Patikawa/AP/Press Association Images

Indonesia volcano erupts again (PHOTOS)

Thousands more flee as volcano erupts for second time after 400-year break.
Aug 30th 2010, 4:58 PM 434 0

AN INDONESIAN VOLCANO that erupted yesterday for the first time in 400 years has eruopted again today.

Authorities have evacuated round 21,000 people so far, and distributed some 17,000 respiratory masks. They say that areas beyond a 6km perimeter of the volcano, are safe.

Around 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes yesterday, but many had begun to return home as the volcano appeared to be cooling off.

Mount Sinabung is 60km south-west of Sumatra’s main city, Medan, and Indonesia has at least 129 active volcanoes spread over its islands.

The country’s most famous volcanic eruption was the catastrophic 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, which killed an estimated 36,000 people and sparked a tsunami.

Two people have died, one from respiratory problems and the other from a heart attack, but officials say it’s too early to know if the volcano is to blame.

Clouds of hot ash were blown more than a mile into the air, causing a number of flights to be diverted due to poor visibility. Indonesian

Reuters reports that today’s eruption was much more powerful than yesterday’s, but rainfall is obscuring views of the mountain, making it difficult to gauge whether ash is still pouring out or not.

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A leading Indonesian volcanologist said the ash is unlikely to spread to other countries, but said it was impossible to know when the eruptions would stop.

Authorities yesterday admitted they had not been closely monitoring the volcano in the days leading up to the eruption.

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