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Mount Sinabung, located on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, erupted nearly 80 times over the weekend, displacing thousands of people and engulfing an area more than three miles from the mountain’s peak in life-threatening clouds of hot ash and gas. The evacuation zone originally covered a five kilometer (3.1 mile) radius, but has been stretched to seven kilometers, and could be extended further.
Indonesia is home to more active volcanoes (nearly 130) than any other country on earth. About 20,000 people have already been evacuated due to the country’s latest volcanic eruption, a number which could easily wind up being far higher.
With fiery smoke still billowing from the mountain’s peak, lava streaming down its sides, and entire towns covered in ash, the scene on Sumatra is frightening.