Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation raised flight warnings around Mount Sinabung to their highest level after the volcano sent a plume of ash more than 7 km (4.5 mi) into the air on Monday, February 19. Flights are therefore no longer allowed to fly in the danger zone above Sinabung’s crater.
Thousands of residents were affected by the shower of falling ash, although no injuries were reported. The danger zone on the ground is still in effect, with access restricted up to 7 km (4.4 mi) from the crater.
Indonesia lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is frequently affected by volcanic eruptions. Mount Sinabung was dormant for 400 years before resuming activity in 2010. Since then, the volcano's eruptions have killed at least 25 people. In May 2016, seven people were killed in a nearby village after they ignored evacuation orders. Similar eruptions in 2014 killed 16. The latest eruption took place in October 2017, after which Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) established the danger zone around the volcano.
Individuals present in affected areas are advised to monitor the situation and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders).