Volcano Erupts in Indonesia, Forces Evacuations

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A long-dormant volcano in Indonesia erupts for the fourth time in just over a week. The area has been evacuated with more eruptions predicted in the near future.

Dormant for nearly 400 years.. but on Tuesday this Indonesian volcano erupted for the fourth time in nearly a week.

It was the strongest of the recent eruptions for Mount Sinabung in northern Sumatra, its sound reportedly travelling as far as eight kilometres, and its smoke rising five kilometres into the air.

Villagers from the surrounding towns and slopes were forced to evacuate.

[Rohani, Evacuee]:
"The situation is worsening because of the volcanic ash. Last night it erupted again at 12.30am. It caused a very big ash cloud and we couldn't see the volcano. It was very dark."

There were no casualties, but the heavy rain mixed with ash formed muddy precipitation caking buildings and trees, and making breathing difficult.

The area is largely agricultural and farmers are worried about their homes and crops, which have been necessarily abandoned for the time being as further eruptions are predicted for the near future.

According to disaster officials, evacuated villages are nearly emptied, and there are almost 24,000 people now staying in refugee camps.

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