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Sumatra and the Indonesian archipelago lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a 40,000-kilometre region of the Pacific Ocean which accounts for 75 per cent of the world’s seismic and volcanic activity.
On Sunday, 6,000 people fled their homes as authorities expanded their evacuation radius following Mount Sinabung’s eruptions,which sent hot ash more than 1.5 km into the atmosphere.
The Indonesian government ordered that 15,000 people leave some 10 villages near Mount Sinabung, which lies 88 km from Medan, capital of North Sumatra province.
More than 250 people were killed when Mount Merapi in central Java erupted in 2010.
Sinabung has been dormant for three years but began intermittently erupting in September.