On 7 April 2019, mighty Mount Sinabung, an active volcano in Karo Regency in North Sumatra, erupted. The mountain had lain dormant for centuries before roaring back to life in 2010, and it’s been continuously active ever since. Sinabung erupted again on 9 June, spewing an ash column 7km into the sky. Pyroclastic flows then tumbled down the mountain. Fortunately no casualties were recorded.
Given that it’s been erupting for almost a decade now, Mount Sinabung is also one of Indonesia’s longest running natural disasters—but one that’s often underreported. Sinabung lies in the Karo Highlands, a chilly farming area at an altitude of 1,300m. Despite the government’s best efforts and plans to build a glitzy “volcano park”, it’s hardly an international tourist hub.
Sinabung has killed on more than one occasion. In 2014, 16 people died after pyroclastic flows tumbled down the mountain. In 2016, seven more perished when the volcano awoke yet again.
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