Thick smoke billows up from Mount Sinabung
© Antara/Sastrawan Ginting
Thick smoke billows up from Mount Sinabung in Karo, North Sumatra. The volcano erupted on Thursday with a column of ash going up 2,000 meters into the sky.
Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra, erupted again several times on Thursday, spewing out a 2,000-meter-high column of ash and smoke into the air.

The first eruption was recorded at 6:07 a.m. and continued for around 11 minutes, with a 1,000-m-high column of ash moving toward the east, the southeast and the south, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported.

The second eruption lasted for around 20 minutes starting at 1:08 p.m. as the volcano spewed a 2,000-m-high column of ash, which blew toward the east and the southeast, the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) said.


As of Thursday, the PVMBG still maintained the volcano's alert status at Siaga, or level three of the four-tiered alert system. The authorities, however, have reminded the public to steer clear of a 3-kilometer radius from the crater, designated as the danger zone.

Residents were further encouraged to wear a mask to protect their respiratory system and to clean their roofs of thick volcanic ash to prevent their houses from being damaged.

"Those living near the riverbank must remain cautious of potential lava flow," the PVMBG said in a statement.

The PVMBG also issued a code orange volcano observatory notice for aviation (VONA) following Thursday's eruption.

The color codes in VONA's alert levels reflect conditions at or near a volcano. The green code indicates a normal, non-eruptive state; yellow shows signs of elevated unrest above known background levels; orange means there is heightened unrest with an increased likelihood of eruption; and red forecasts an imminent eruption with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere.

Mt. Sinabung erupted again for the first time after 14 months of inactivity at 1:58 a.m. on July 8, emitting a 2,000-m-high column of ash that later spread as far as Berastagi, located some 30 km from the volcano. A second eruption occurred later at 5:18 p.m. on the same day, producing a 1,000-m-high column of ash.

It was followed by a string of eruptions that produced an ash column reaching up 5,000 m on Monday.



The 2,460 m mountain roared back to life in 2010 for the first time in 400 years. It erupted once more in 2013 and has remained highly active since.

At least 16 people died in one of Sinabung's eruptions in 2014. Two years later, another eruption killed seven.