Airlines told to avoid path near Indonesia volcano
JAKARTA (AP) - More than 15,000 residents have fled a volcano that rumbled to life less than a week ago in Indonesia and local airlines have been warned to avoid flying near the mountain as thick ash continues to spew from its crater, an official said on Thursday.
The aviation warning was issued on Wednesday for small planes serving short-haul flights in the region as small eruptions continue at Mount Sinabung, said Mr Susanto, general manager for air navigation at Kuala Namu airport in North Sumatra's capital Medan. Like many Indonesians, he uses only one name.
Data from the local emergency task force showed the number of people evacuated has doubled to more than 15,000 after many residents outside the 3-kilometre danger area abandoned their houses.
The 2,600-metre volcano first erupted on Sunday after being dormant for three years. A larger eruption occurred two days later volcanic ash and thick smoke were belched up to 3 kilometres into the air that ignited fires on its slopes.