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Indonesia's Mount Sinabung Unleashes Fresh Burst

Binsar Bakkara
Published: December 30, 2013

Mount Sinabung sinabung spews volcanic material as seen from Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. Officials raised the alert status of Sinabung to the highest level after a series of overnight eruptions. (AP Photo/Dedy Zulkifli)

KARO, Indonesia -- Authorities say a volcano in western Indonesia that has been spewing lava and clouds of gas high into the sky has let out a new burst, triggering panic.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says nine new eruptions Tuesday sent lava and searing gas tumbling up to 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) down the slopes of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province, but no casualties were reported.

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It started spitting gas and lava up to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) in the air late Monday.

Nugroho says about 19,000 villagers have been evacuated from a danger zone 5 kilometers (3 miles) around the crater.

The 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) volcano has sporadically erupted since September. An eruption in 2010 caught scientists off guard because it had been quiet for four centuries.

Mount Sinabung is among around 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which 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.

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