clear
Saturday February 13th, 2016 5:55AM

Indonesia volcano erupts again; kills at least 14

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
MOUNT SINABUNG, Indonesia (AP) -- An Indonesian volcano that has been rumbling for months unleased a major eruption Saturday, killing 14 people just a day after authorities allowed thousands of villagers who had been evacuated to return to its slopes, saying that activity was decreasing, officials said.

Among the dead on Mount Sinabung were a local television journalist and four high-school students and their teacher who were visiting the mountain to see the eruptions up close, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. At least three other people were injured, and authorities feared the death toll would rise.

Sinabung in western Sumatra has been erupting for four months, sending lava and searing gas and rocks rolling down its southern slopes. Authorities had evacuated more than 30,000 people, housing them in cramped tents, schools and public buildings. Many have been desperate to return to check on homes and farms, presenting a dilemma for the government.

On Friday, authorities allowed nearly 14,000 people living outside a five-kilometer (three-mile) danger zone to return home after volcanic activity decreased. Others living close to the peak have been returning to their homes over the past four months despite the dangers.

On Saturday, a series of huge blasts and eruptions thundered from the 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) -high volcano, sending lava and pyroclastic flows up to 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) away, Nugroho said. Television footage showed villages, farms and trees around the volcano covered in thick gray ash.

Following the eruption, all those who had been allowed to return home Friday were ordered back into evacuation centers.

"The death toll is likely to rise as many people are reported still missing and the darkness hampered our rescue efforts," said Lt. Col. Asep Sukarna, who led the operation to retrieve the charred corpses some three kilometers (two miles) from the volcano's peak.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. Mount Sinabung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia and has sporadically erupted since September.

In 2010, 324 people killed over two months when Indonesia's most volatile volcano, Mount Merapi, roared into life. As now in Sinabung, authorities struggled to keep people away from the mountain. Scientists monitor Merapi, Sinabung and other Indonesian volcanos nonstop, but predicting their activity with any accuracy is all but impossible.

The latest eruptions came just a week after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited displaced villagers in Sinabung and pledged to relocate them away from the mountain. Villagers are attracted to the slopes of volcanoes because the eruptions make for fertile soil.

Sinabung's last major eruption was in August 2010, when it killed two people. Prior to that it had been quite for four centuries.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
U.S, Cuba to resume commercial flights for 1st time in 50 years
The United States and Cuba will sign an agreement next week to resume commercial air traffic for the first time in five decades, starting the clock on dozens of new flights operating daily by next fall, U.S. officials said Friday.
By The Associated Press
9:35PM ( 8 hours ago )
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore says he is dropping out of the race for the White House
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore says he is dropping out of the race for the White House.The Republican says in a statement he plans to support his party's nominee and will continue...
5:03PM ( 12 hours ago )
Banks County pauses to honor fallen U.S. officers
Banks County Sheriff's Office officials and members of the community paused Friday to pray for law enforcement and remember fallen officers from around the country.
4:19PM ( 13 hours ago )
Authorities seize $566,000 in meth, marijuana in Gainesville bust
​Drug agents and police officers seized 20 ounces of methamphetamine, five guns and three marijuana plants during the arrest of a Gainesville man this week.
3:52PM ( 14 hours ago )
Police standoff ends peacefully at Gainesville hotel
It took about 90 minutes for Gainesville Police to take a suspect into custody Friday afternoon, following a standoff outside a hotel room.
2:50PM ( 15 hours ago )