Jakarta, May 22 (IANS) Three people were killed and four others injured by hot smoke from the eruption of Mount Sinabung on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, officials said on Sunday.
“The avalanche of hot smoke from Mount Sinabung has again claimed lives,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the head of public relations with the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said on Saturday.
The victims were residents of the Gamber village, about 4 km from the mountain, and were working in the fields when the smoke hit them.
However, they were not supposed to have been there, as Gamber’s proximity to the mountain puts it inside the danger zone, and most inhabitants were evacuated a long time ago and relocated elsewhere.
Some villagers had ignored the restrictions and stayed in the village to continue farming, Sutopo said.
The hot smoke also destroyed several homes in the area.
The volcano belched out hot smoke several times on Saturday, with ash rising up to 3,000 metres in the sky, and eruption warnings still in effect.
“People and visitors/tourists are not allowed to conduct any activity within a radius of 3 km from the mountain’s top. People living in the south and southeast sector are also prohibited to get as near as 7 km from the mountains top while those in north and northeast sectors are prohibited to get as near as 4 km from the mountains top,” Sutopo said.
Sinabung has erupted several times since 2010, causing the evacuation of many thousands of people and killing over a dozen.