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Indonesia’s Sinabung volcano ejects towering column of ash

Rumbling Mount Sinabung on Indonesia’s Sumatra island erupted on Monday, sending a column of volcanic materials as high as 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) into the sky.

There were no fatalities or injuries from the morning eruption, Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre said.

Villagers are advised to stay 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from the crater’s mouth and should be aware of the peril of lava, the agency said.

Some 30,000 people have been forced to leave homes around the mountain in the past few years.

A thick layer of ash covered several villages up to 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) from the crater, said Armen Putra, an official at the Mount Sinabung observation post.

The volcano, one of two currently erupting in Indonesia, was dormant for four centuries before exploding in 2010, killing two people. Another eruption in 2014 killed 16 people, while seven died in a 2016 eruption.

Sinabung is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

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