Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano erupts, spewing ashes 2 km into sky

A long exposure picture shows molten lava spilling from the Mount Sinabung as seen from Sukandebi village in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, on Aug 2, 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA - Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano, located in Karo regency in North Sumatra province, erupted on Thursday (Oct 12) early, sending an ash column as high as 2km into the sky.

A disaster agency senior official said the eruption took place at 2.45 am local time. There was no casualties.

Mount Sinabung, one of Indonesia's 129 active volcanoes, has been on top alert since July 2015.

It has had multiple eruptions in recent months. Residents have been told to stay outside a no-go zone of 7km in radius surrounding the volcano.

In May last year, seven people were killed in one of Sinabung's eruptions, while 16 were killed by similar eruptions in 2014.

Meanwhile, the popular resort island of Bali remains on heightened alert over the possible eruption of the Mount Agung volcano.

Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) will be using three kinds of drones to monitor the development of Mount Agung, reported Antara news agency.

The head of BNPB, Willem Rampangilei, told reporters in Karangasem, on Wednesday, that the drones will be used to capture images and footage of the activity inside the crater and areas surrounding the volcano, the highest peak in Bali.

According to the Head of Volcano Mitigation of PVMBG, Gede Suantika, using drones to monitor the volcano will help get the details on the colour of smoke rising from the crater.

The volcanic fumes are usually white, gray, yellow, or even dark, he explained.

"The dark colour signals the presence of volcanic ash, which is dangerous," he said.

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