Indonesia – Mount Sinabung activity alert

20 Feb 2018

Additional eruptions are possible at Mount Sinabung in Karo Regency, North Sumatra, after the volcano erupted at approximately 0853 Feb. 19. The eruption sent a plum of thick ash as high as 5 km (3.1 miles) into the air and spewed a torrent of searing gas 4 km (2.5 miles) down its slopes. There are no reported casualties. Mount Sinabung has been on the highest alert status since June 2015, with a 7-km (4.3-mile) exclusion zone surrounding the volcano. 

Eruptions have not affected flight operations at Kualanamu International Airport (KNO), which serves the city of Medan. However, further eruptions or a shift in wind direction could lead to flight delays and/or cancellations. Minor delays are also possible if planes have to detour around the ash cloud. Authorities may impose ground travel restrictions along roads in affected areas, as ash could reduce visibility and make streets slippery. Localized traffic disruptions are possible. 

Mount Sinabung, which is located approximately 55 km (35 miles) southwest of Medan, has erupted sporadically since 2010, following almost 400 years of dormancy. The eruptions have forced the evacuation of nearby villages and have posed periodic disruptions to air travel. The volcano last erupted in December 2017 and late January 2018. 


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