Indonesia's Mt Sinabung volcano erupts sending huge ash cloud into air

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Indonesian authorities have raised Mount Sinabung's volcano alert from orange to red, which means airplanes are no longer allowed to fly in the danger zone above its crater.

Surya Jadi Sembiring filmed the moment ash filled the air after Mount Sinabung erupted on the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Monday about 9am local time.

Head of the National Volcanology Agency, Kasbani, said the hot lahar flowed 4.9 kilometres down the south-eastern side of the volcano, and 3.5 kilometres to the east. The ash that emerged from the eruption shot-up to 5000 metres in the sky and travelled southwards.

The plume of ash expelled by the Mount Sinabung volcano towers above a nearby town
The plume of ash expelled by the Mount Sinabung volcano towers above a nearby town

The volcano is one of three now erupting in Indonesia. The country is home to about 130 active volcanoes.

A man wearing a mask rides a motorbike after the eruption of Mount Sinabung at Payung Village, in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Feb. 19, 2018.

Cars are left covered in ash from the volcano. When Sinabung erupted in 2014, more than a dozen people were killed and thousands were evacuated.

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Ash from Mount Sinabung volcano covers a auto and street following an eruption in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia February 19, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.

Mount Sinabung during an earlier eruption in January.

No-one was injured. Video showed screaming children fleeing a school outside the volcano's exclusion zone as a billowing column of ash rose in the background.

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Mount Sinabung sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a seismic activity belt stretching around the Pacific Ocean basin.

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