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Indonesia : Twelve thousands evacuated over Mount Sinabung in eruption

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Villager wear mask to protect their respirations from volcanic ash from Mount Sinabung in Karo, North Sumatera, Indonesia, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

Jakarta (KATAKAMI / ANTARA) – About 12 thousand local residents around Mount Sinabung which erupted at 0:15 am local time on Sunday have been evacuated to safer places, a red-cross official said.

“Based on temporary data collected by the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) a total of 12 thousand locals of 14 villages in three sub districts have been evacuated,” Muhammad Irsal, a member of PMI`s disaster mitigation task force (Satgana), said when he was contacted through the phne here on Sunday.

Mt Sinabung has been spewing thick smokes and vulcanic ashes since Friday night.

Since then, North Sumatra branch of PMI has sent 5 personnel to the location.

Muhammad Irsal is one them who is now in the disaster location in Sigaranggarang village, near Mt Sinabung.

He said that locations impacted by the mount eruption included Bekerah, Simacan, Suka Nalau, Sigaranggarang, Kota Gunung, Kuta Rakyat and Kota Bayakan villages in Namanparang sub district; Sukameria and Selandi villages in Payung sub district; and Mardinding, Kutambaru and Terdaji villages in Payung sub district.

The PMI personnel worked hand-in-hand with the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), local government, health services and social affairs services in evacuating residents.

Until Sunday morning, the locations around Mt Sinabung have been sterilized and deserted because all residents have been evacuated, according to Irsal.

“We felt strong tremors last night. It was a vulcanic quake. After that, the crater of Mount Sinabung spewed glowing lava. And trees in the mount slopes were burnt. It was followed by thick clouds that caused visibility to be only about five meters. We soon helped locals to evacuate to safer locations,” Irsal said.

He said that on Saturday night, PMI had distributed some 500 masks before it sent three personnel from North Sumatra office and one ambulance car to carry out mobile monitoring around the locations.

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