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Indonesian volcano Mount Sinanbung spews Ash three miles into the air in spectacular eruption

An Indonesian volcano erupted on Monday morning spewing a giant ash cloud more than 3 miles (5km) into the sky.  

The eruption of Mount Sinabung on the island of Sumatra comes after more than a year of inactivity and was the second since Saturday.

Residents and tourists have been warned about possible lava flow and have been told to stay outside a 3km radius from the crater’s mouth.

Dramatic footage of the morning eruption captured by residents showed a giant cloud of thick ash rising from the peak of the 2,460-metre (8,071-ft) mountain in Karo, North Sumatra.

The volcano erupted emitting a thunderous noise and turning the sky dark, authorities and witnesses said. 

‘The sound was like thunder, it lasted for less than 30 seconds,’ resident Fachrur Rozi Pasi told Reuters by phone.

Residents have been advised to stay outside of a 3 km radius of the volcano and to wear masks to minimise the effects of falling volcanic ash, the volcanology agency said in a statement.  

There have been no fatalities or injuries reported from the morning eruption and a spokeswoman for the civil aviation authority said flights were still operating in the region.

A thick layer of ash from Monday’s eruption covered several villages up to 20km from the crater. 

‘The situation around Mount Sinabung is very dark now,’ said Gilbert Sembiring, who was visiting a friend in Naman Teran Kampung when Sinabung erupted.

‘It was bigger than the eruption a couple of days ago.’

Sinabung, located in one of the world’s most volcanically active countries, was inactive for four centuries before it erupted again in 2010, killing two people. 

Another eruption in 2014 killed 16 people, while seven died in a 2016 eruption. 

The volcano is one of more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ – an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean.

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