Indonesia: Sinabung volcano erupts more than 30 times spewing ash and lava

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung has erupted more than 30 times, spewing lava and ash clouds over a wide area, officials said, with more than 26,000 people now forced to flee their homes.

Mt Sinabung, which lies in the northwest of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, sent hot rocks and ash 5 kilometres into in the air, spreading hot clouds over a 4.5-kilometre radius, said the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation.

Enormous clouds rose from the mountain, as thick layers of grey ash blanketed plantations and nearby houses.

With the volcano erupting regularly, many of those who have left their homes since Mt Sinabung started erupting in September have fallen ill, a local government official said.

“Some refugees are sick, coughing mainly, and they are also in need of clean water,” said Robert Peranginangin, a spokesman for Karo district.