Indonesian Volcano Erupts after 400 Years

An Indonesian volcano, Mount Sinabung, north of Sumatra Island, spewed ash and lava on Sunday morning, followed by another eruption early Monday morning.

The volcano erupted after four hundred years, causing panic in villages.

[Agus Sugiyono, Sinabung Rescue Center]: (male, Bahasa Indonesia)
"This was the third eruption -- August 28, 29, and 30 it spewed dark, hot volcanic ash up to 6,500 feet."

Many local residents have fled to the city of Medan, about 30 miles northeast.

So far about 21,000 people have been evacuated, and are living in temporary accommodation.

Although there were no major flight disruptions, there have been delays on the route between Medan and Sibolga.

[Sugiyono, Airport Official]: (male, Bahasa Indonesia)
"We have seen that the volcanic ash has reached Medan. We have sent a message to Medan authorities to warn planes that volcanic ash could be a threat."

The North Sumatra government has provided ten shelters for people living on the slopes, and more refugees are expected.

[Nasir Purba, Officer]: (male, Bahasa Indonesia)

"Up until now there are residents from 22 villages taking shelter in ten different places, and we will receive residents from another village in a few minutes."

One shelter in a Brastagi government office is housing more than 2,000 villagers.

[Tertib Sitepu, Farmer]: (male, Bahasa Indonesia)
"I cannot do anything. We will head back to our house when the situation is safe, if it is not safe enough, we will stay."

It is impossible to know when the volcano will stop erupting, but it is unlikely volcanic dust will drift to neighboring countries.