Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Indonesia volcano erupts again after long dormancy


Plumes of ash above Mount Sinabung
Mount Sinabung volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has erupted again, sending ash and smoke several kilometres into the atmosphere.
Thousands of people living near the mountain evacuated their homes to stay in government-provided shelters.
According to airport officials, some domestic flights in the region have been affected by the volcanic ash.Mount Sinabung, long considered to be inactive, erupted for the first time in 400 years in the early hours of Sunday.

Mr Surono, a government vulcanologist, told the BBC that the volcano erupted again early on Monday, spewing black ash and soot two kilometres (1.24 miles) into the air.He said the eruption was bigger than Sunday's.

Respiratory problems
The eruption has affected some local flights.
An official at Medan Airport, the biggest city near Mount Sinabung, told the BBC that domestic flights that were due to fly over the volcano have been suspended until further notice.

Meanwhile, relief workers are now providing shelter and medical aid to the villagers who have been affected by the volcano's eruptions.The majority of villagers within a 6km (3.7 miles) radius of Mount Sinabung have been evacuated.Red Cross workers told the BBC that more than 18,000 people are now living in camps and government shelters.Workers say that the immediate danger the villagers face is respiratory problems.

Thousands of face masks have been handed out to protect them from the thick ash and smoke that has permeated the atmosphere.
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