News / Asia

    Indonesia's Mt. Sinabung Eruption Kills at Least 14

    Villagers flee as Mount Sinabung releases pyroclastic flows during an eruption in Namantaran, North Sumatra, Feb. 1, 2014.
    Villagers flee as Mount Sinabung releases pyroclastic flows during an eruption in Namantaran, North Sumatra, Feb. 1, 2014.
    VOA News
    At least 14 people were killed Saturday following a major eruption of an active volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, just a day after thousands of villagers living nearby were allowed to return to their homes.
     
    Authorities say the dead on Mount Sinabung included a school teacher and four students. Officials say they fear the death toll will rise, once lethal heat clouds disperse and rescuers are able to comb through the disaster area.
     
    The 2,460-meter high volcano has been erupting for four months, spewing columns of ash kilometers into the air and sending lava and deadly gases down its southern slopes.
     
    Since September, authorities had evacuated more than 30,000 people, housing them in tent encampments and nearby schools.
     
    Indonesia's state-controlled Antara news agency said disaster officials on Friday ruled that thousands of villagers living outside a 5-kilometer radius of the crater could return to their homes and farms, because no recent significant volcanic activity had been recorded.
     
    Sinabung is one of nearly 130 active volcanoes in the world's most populous country, a sprawling archipelago that straddles the "Ring of Fire" volcanic belt that encircles much of the Pacific Ocean.
     
    Mount Sinabung had been dormant for four centuries. According to Reuters, Indonesian officials increased volcano status on November 24, following increased activity.
     
    Indonesia's most deadly volcanic eruption in recent years was of Mount Merapi, near the densely populated city of Yogyakarta in central Java. It erupted in late 2010, killing more than 350 people.
     
    Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters. An earlier version of this article included wire news reporting that referred to Indonesia as the world's most populous nation. VOA has corrected the error.

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    Comments
         
    by: Tara Gilbert-Rivera from: Brooklyn N.Y.
    February 02, 2014 5:17 AM
    This is what concerns people that author of the article may have made a mistake in the wording. ....14 people and probably (but hopefully not) more are dead that's the issue.

    by: Randall from: Arizona
    February 01, 2014 4:05 PM
    ------ISAIAH 29:6

    by: Martin Hasa
    February 01, 2014 3:56 PM
    "Sinabung is one of nearly 130 active volcanoes in the world's most populous country..." - When exactly did Indonesia's population numbers pass China, India, etc?
    In Response

    by: Kenji
    February 01, 2014 4:37 PM
    ".. in ONE of the..." - The term is used correctly seeing how Indonesia is top 5 in highest populations.

    by: Jason from: Katonah NY
    February 01, 2014 3:50 PM
    World's most populous nation? There appear to be three other nations in the world that are more populous.

    by: kevguy from: Texas
    February 01, 2014 3:50 PM
    Indonesia is not "the world's most populous country"

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