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In this late Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 photo, Mount Sinabung spews hot lava as seen from Jeraya, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Mount Sinabung spews hot lava as seen from Jeraya, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

PHOTOGRAPH BY BINSAR BAKKARA, AP    

Angie McPherson

National Geographic

Published January 9, 2014

Mount Sinabung—a volcano in Indonesia—has erupted 220 times in the past week and displaced more than 20,000 local villagers.

The 8,530-foot-high (2,600-meter-high) volcano has been erupting since September 2013. Even though the volcano has been active for several months, local authorities have confirmed that the eruptions are intensifying.

PHOTOGRAPH BY SUTANTA ADITYA, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
On Sunday, Mount Sinabung released a plume of hot ash measuring 4,000 meters high.

The Indonesian government has evacuated residents living near the volcano, displacing more than 20,000 villagers living within the danger zone, currently defined as a radius of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) around the volcano's peak.

It has recently been extended to 7 kilometers (4 miles) southeast of the volcano where, according to the Wall Street Journal, volcanic activity is reported to be much higher.

Mount Sinabung sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a fault line in the Pacific Ocean that frequently experiences volcanic activity. Sinabung is one of 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia. It became active in 2010 after hundreds of years of dormancy.

Follow Angie McPherson on Twitter.

13 comments
Ajie Raharjo
Ajie Raharjo

I'm hoping our government (Indonesian) can move quickly to help 20,000 villagers and cities around Sinabung, don't let them starve.

Rajakrishnan Chellam
Rajakrishnan Chellam

It is a sign for future. Care has to be taken and research has to be done to identify such volcanoes throughout the world and some corrective measures has to be made.

Gabriel Benami
Gabriel Benami

What are the chances that the mountain will explode like the 1991 pinatubo eruption in the Philippines?

Seeta Kaur Chamba
Seeta Kaur Chamba

I live here and only less than 18KM from the mountain,this happened for months and im just feeling sorry for the livelihood of people here,we can't work and it affects our economy here greatly 

Dwayne LaGrou
Dwayne LaGrou

Two words...Pyroclastic Bombs!

They are the bomb!

THOMAS BOYAJIAN
THOMAS BOYAJIAN

PLUME OF HOT ASH IS AMAZING!!! LOOKS LIKE AN ATOMIC BOMB WENT OFF!!!

Angie McPherson
Angie McPherson

@Gabriel Benami Mount Sinabung is a relatively new volcano, so there is very little known about it's activity. However, some Indonesian volcano specialists are predicting an eruption strength anywhere between VEI-2 and VEI-6 in size, although VEI-6 is not expected. Mount Pinatubo was a VEI-6, the potential for Mount Sinabung to reach that level of explosivity is unlikely. Hope that helps!

Angie McPherson
Angie McPherson

@Seeta Kaur Chamba Hello Seeta, thanks for commenting. I'm sorry to hear how much this volcano is impacting your community. We're thinking about you guys. Please take care and have a wonderful weekend.

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