Mount Sinabung Volcano Erupts in Indonesia, Aviation Warning Raised

Indonesian Authorities has raise flight warnings around the Mount Sinabung volcano on Sumatra island to their highest level on Monday, after a the mountain sent a very high plume of ash more than 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) into the air, its biggest eruption this year.

Indonesia's Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation was also raised to highest warning
as it said the ash cloud has reached 23, 872 feet. Frequent volcanic activity has made areas around the crater of the volcano off limits for years.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VACC), in Australia’s northern city of Darwin, on Monday issued maps which showed an ash cloud heading in three directions from Sinabung, to the north, northwest and south-southeast.

Kualanamu International Airport in Medan is about 75 kilometres from Sinabung. The head of the regional airport authority, Nur Isnin Istianto said Kutacane airport in Aceh province had been closed, but the wind direction allowed the airport of Kualanamu, Meulaboh and Silangit to remain open.

Indonesia’s Disaster Agency spokesperson, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the eruption began on Monday morning, followed by several earthquakes, causing small rocks to rain down on small villages surrounding it.

“In five districts it became dark with a visibility of about 5 metres,” he said in a statement.
 
The agency has announced that the public should stay out of a 7-km (4-mile) exclusion zone around the crater, and watch for further warnings, which could cover floods.

The 2,460-metre (8,071-ft) tall volcano is among Indonesia’s most active. In 2014, When Sinabung erupted, over dozen people were killed and thousands evacuated.

So far, no casualty has been reported.

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