A VOLCANO which erupted in western Indonesia, unleashing hot clouds of ash on Saturday, has killed at least six villagers and injured several others.
National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province blasted volcanic ash as high as 3 kilometers (2 miles) into the sky on Saturday.
The 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) -high mountain in Karo District had been dormant for four centuries before springing to life in August 2010, killing two people and forcing 30,000 to flee. An eruption in February 2014 killed 16 people.
All the victims of Saturday’s eruption were working on their farms in the village of Gamber in Simpang Empat subdistrict, about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away from the slope, or within the danger area.
According to The Jakarta Post, the Gamber village of Karo regency in North Sumatra, was declared a red zone when Mt Sinabung erupted at 4:48 p.m. on Saturday.
Sutopo said the bodies of the six people who died and the three survivors, who suffered serious burn injuries, were taken to the Efarina Etaham hospital in Kebanjehe.
A search and rescue team consisting of personnel from the Indonesian Military, police, the National Search and Rescue Agency, among others are canvassing the area in search of other victims and survivors.
Sutopo said the number of people who stayed in Gember Village when the hot clouds erupted from Mt Sinabung, was unknown.
“No one should have stayed […] But there were some who remained to tend to their farms,” he was quoted as saying.
Additional reporting by Associated Press