29 Aug 2010

Indonesia on red alert as Sumatran volcano erupts

10:01 pm on 29 August 2010

Indonesia is on red alert after the eruption of a Sumatran volcano.

The Sinabung volcano in northern Sumatra spewed smoke and ash 1500 metres into the air and forced the evacuation of people from four nearby villages. No casualties have been reported.

The nation's volcano disaster alert centre says it was initially thought that the ash and smoke were triggered by rain, but when it became clear the driving pressure was from magma, the alert was raised to the highest level.

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency says that more than 10,000 people but some have already gone home as volcanic activity decreases.

Sinabung has not erupted for more than 400 years but there have been signs of volcanic activity since Friday.