Indonesia's Mount Sinabung shoots out columns of ash, no evacuations necessary

Indonesia's Mt Sinabung spewing ash on Aug 14, 2014, on Sumatra Island. The volcano erupted again on Sunday, Oct 5, sending columns of ash up to 3,000m into the sky. -- PHOTO: AFP
Indonesia's Mt Sinabung spewing ash on Aug 14, 2014, on Sumatra Island. The volcano erupted again on Sunday, Oct 5, sending columns of ash up to 3,000m into the sky. -- PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano erupted on Sunday, sending columns of ash up to 3,000 metres to the sky, officials said.

However, the eruption did not trigger an evacuation, Xinhua news agency reported.

The volcano, which periodically sends hot rocks and ash into the air, erupted four times since early Sunday sliding the gravel to its south.

The government maintains an alert status for the volcano, and this spewing of ash did not need evacuation, Mr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency (BNPB), said.

He said Mount Sinabung has had 4 eruptions since the early hours of Sunday. The first was at 1.46am local time, when it emitted gas that in turn caused volcanic materials to fall onto the ground about 4,500m south, and volcanic ash that went up as high as 2,000m. It erupted for 263s.

The second eruption was at 6.38am, and emitted gas as far south as 2,500m. The length of eruption was 152s.

The third was at 7.36am, of gas 3,000m south, for 158s.

And the fourth was at 7.53am, 4,500m south. Volcanic ash was thrown up as high as 3,000m.

Mount 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". It last erupted in June and September 2014 after erupting on and off from September 2013 to February 2014, which left 15 people dead and more than 30,000 other internally displaced.

The Indonesian Transport Ministry has warned flights to stay away from the path near the volcano.