Thousands of residents have been forced to leave their homes after Mount Sinabung erupted

The volcano had been dormant for over four centuries before erupting in 2010 and then again in September

The crater erupted more than 50 times on Saturday night and forced remaining residents to scramble from homes


Thousands of panicked villagers have been forced to flee their homes after Mount Sinabung erupted more than 50 times in a single night
Panicked residents of a mountainside village in western Indonesia were forced to scramble from their homes when a nearby volcano erupted late on Saturday night.

Women and children were packed into vans and driven away from Mount Sinabung as it spurted gas and lava just after midnight in Northern Sumatra province.

Natural disaster authorities said more than 50 eruptions occurred, with rocks and debris landing three miles away from the mountain, though no casualties have been reported.

The volcano was still spitting gas and lava as high as 13,00 feet this morning.

A spokesman for the country's disaster mitigation agency confirmed a danger zone had been mapped out at three miles from the crater's mouth, but was extended an extra mile.

Soldiers joined rescue efforts in two village, Jewara and Pintu Besi, where houses and farms were covered in grey dust.
More than 20,000 people have been evacuated from villages surrounding the volcano and placed in temporary shelters since the crater's alert status was heightened in November.

One man said: 'We've lost everything.

'We wonder about our lives after this disaster,' said the father-of-four who is among those in a cramped shelter in Telegah village.

The 8,530ft mountain has erupted sporadically since September. It had been dormant for over 400 years in 2010 when a sudden eruption killed two people.


Women and children were crammed into vans that were driven down the mountain's side. Residents are being temporarily sheltered in nearby areas
Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said airlines had been notified to avoid routes near the mountain.

Mount Sinabung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on what is known as the Pacific 'Ring of Fire'.

The cluster of volcanoes in the basin of the Pacific Ocean is where 90 per cent of the world's earthquakes and occur.


Soldiers were among those involved in rescue efforts to help residents in towns that have been buried by clouds of ash and dust