No rest for giant crater


Darkness falls but no sleep comes to Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano, or the residents of Tiga Pancur village in North Sumatra which it looms over, spewing lava and ash during an eruption on Thursday.

Mount Sinabung's volcanic activity has not entirely ceased after it rumbled back to life in 2013 .

The series of eruptions over the last few years have killed at least 17 people and destroyed thousands of houses and hectares of farmland.

More than 10,000 people have fled from nearby villages in the wake of volcanic anger. Some brave souls ventured home after it had simmered down, but about 6,000 people are still choosing to live in shelters.

It's not just life and limb that is in danger. Businesses have been hurt, as tourists stay away.

The volcano's devastating economic impact in recent years has been estimated at US$100 million (S$143 million) in a broad range of areas, including infrastructure, farming and tourism.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2016, with the headline 'No rest for giant crater'. Print Edition | Subscribe