November 25, 2013
North Sumatra – Mount Sinabung – High Level of Eruption Alert
The volcanic ash spewed by Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra, disrupted a number of flights from Kuala Namu International Airport in Deli Serdang regency on Sunday. In Bandung, the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) increased the volcano’s status to “awas” (beware), the highest level of the four-level alert system. Air Asia and Susi Air postponed its flight to Penang, Malaysia, citing safety reason as volcanic ash has reached the airport. “The ash was quite thick. In the morning, all of our aircraft at Kuala Namu had been covered by ash,” he said on Sunday.“It is dangerous if we keep flying so we decided to temporarily halt our operations.” Mt. Sinabung erupted at about 9:45 p.m. Saturday, spewing volcanic ash as high as 10 kilometers.The ash reached the provincial capital of Medan, for the first time since Sinabung erupted in 2010. This caused Medan residents to panic and become concerned about the ash, which started to fall at 11:30 p.m. The affected areas included Medan Tuntungan, Medan Johor, Medan Selayang and even as far as Belawan. National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho estimated that another 15,000 villagers would come to evacuation centers following the status increase. “Currently there are 11,618 evacuees coming from 19 villages,” he said.