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Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano erupts twice in three days

MEDAN, Indonesia — Indonesia’s rumbling Mount Sinabung erupted Monday, sending a column of volcanic materials as high as 16,400 feet into the sky and depositing ash on villages.

It is the second eruption since Saturday after the volcano sat dormant for more than a year.

Falling grit and ash accumulated up to 2 inches in already abandoned villages on the volcano’s slopes, said Armen Putra, an official at the Sinabung monitoring post on Sumatra Island.

“The sound was like thunder, it lasted for less than 30 seconds,” resident Fachrur Rozi Pasi told Reuters by phone.

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Farther afield in Berastagi, a tourist destination city in North Sumatra province, about 12.4 miles from the crater, motorists switched on headlights in daylight to see through the ash.

Videos and photos on social media showed people wore masks while outdoors.

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

Mount Sinabung spews volcanic ash in Karo, North Sumatra province, Indonesia, on Monday.Antara Foto/Sastrawan Ginting / Reuters

Villagers are advised to stay 3.1 miles from the crater’s mouth and should be aware of the peril of lava, the agency said. Air travel was not being impacted so far by the ash, the Transport Ministry said.

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

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.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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