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    » 09/16/2013, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Sumatra , thousands of people flee eruption of Sinabung volcano

    Mathias Hariyadi

    Nearly 6 thousand inhabitants forced to flee their homes . Authorities evacuate villages within a radius of three kilometers from the volcano . Yesterday morning the main eruption shot ash and lava blocking the main airport in the area. Fears of new eruptions in the coming hours.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews ) - Almost 6 thousand displaced people are fleeing the eruption of the volcano Sinabung , in Karo , North Sumatra Province , Indonesia. According to the authorities - who maintain maximum alert and are monitoring the evolution of the situation - the number is expected to increase exponentially in the coming hours . Mount Sinabung is 2,400 meters high and in the summer of 2010 had already resumed activity after being dormant for centuries ( the last episode dated back to 1600) , causing over 12 thousand displaced persons and a thick blanket of smoke and fog.

    Yesterday morning, at dawn, the volcano began to erupt violently tossing rocks , lava and ash , which affected the surrounding villages . Thousands fled their homes for safety in secure areas. At first the number of refugees was 3,710 , but according to estimates provided by the authorities today the number is already approaching 5,956 and seems likely to increase.

    For the experts there may be other eruptions after the main one yesterday, no less dangerous in scope. The displaced people are from six different villages, which are located within three kilometers from the summit of the volcano . They are Simacem , Bekerah , Sukameriah , Sukanalu Teran , Sigarang - Garang , and Mardinding and are located in the Namanteran sub -district.

    Rescuers have set up an emergency center providing food, drinks , blankets and basic necessities to be distributed to the displaced. Because of ash and lava spills, there are no direct flights to the main airport in North Sumatra , Kualanamu , with flights being diverted to other safer airports. Many flights have also been canceled.

    The Indonesian archipelago is made up of thousands of islands and atolls surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, in an area known by scientists as the "Ring of Fire". It is characterized by intense volcanic and seismic activity, caused by the collision of several continental plates. Memories of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the region in December 2004 are still alive in peoples minds, with an epicenter off the coast of Aceh, causing hundreds of thousands of victims throughout Asia. On 30 October 2009, another strong earthquake affected the area of ​​Padang resulting in about 700 deaths. Over 180 houses were razed to the ground.

     

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    See also

    06/03/2007 INDONESIA
    Panic in Indonesia because of strong quake in Sumatra
    Tremor is felt as far as Singapore and Malaysia. So far death toll stands at 70, including some children who died in a school. There is no risk of a tsunami.

    25/10/2007 INDONESIA
    Panic in Sumatra after a strong undersea quake
    A quake with a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale triggered the Tsunami warning system which has since been revoked. Hitting in the middle of the night it forced thousands to flee inland. It is the latest in a series of aftershocks and movements following last month’s earthquake.

    09/03/2011 JAPAN
    Powerful earthquake in northeastern Japan. Minimum risk of tsunami
    The quake lasted several seconds, but did no damage. A tidal wave of about 60 cm. No problems for nuclear power plants and high-speed trains.

    26/11/2007 INDONESIA
    Strong earthquakes kill at least three people, among them a child
    Two strong tremors off Sumbawa killed three people and injured 45 others overnight. The death toll is still provisional. The second quake provokes tsunami warning.

    30/08/2010 INDONESIA
    30 thousand displaced by new eruption in Sumatra
    This morning a column of smoke and ash 2 thousand meters high. Further 8 000 people transferred from the slopes of Mount Sinabung. A man dies from breathing problems caused by airborne ash. Lava flow expected. Indonesia has over 500 active volcanoes.



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