By Cailey Rizzo
February 20, 2018

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung erupted on Monday, shooting ash more than three miles into the air and reshaping the mountain’s summit.

Credit: ANTO SEMBIRING/AFP/Getty Images

Indonesia issued flight warnings for the area surrounding the volcano eruption and closed Kutacane airport in Aceh province. The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) is at red, its highest level.

Flights around the island are also affected by the ash cloud, rerouting to avoid the plume of the Sinabung volcano.


Wind direction has allowed airport authorities to keep Kualanamu, Meulaboh and Silangit airports in operation.

The eruption began on Monday morning on Sumatra Island and created an ash cloud topping almost 24,000 feet. Surrounding villages were covered in a cloud of volcanic ash and multiple earthquakes brought down a shower of small rocks. No casualties were reported, but Indonesia has prohibited people from visiting an exclusion zone of five miles around the volcano.

Credit: KADRI BOY TARIGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Mount Sinabung volcano has been active over the past five years. When it erupted in 2014, more than a dozen people were killed and thousands evacuated from the immediate area. Areas around the volcano’s crater have been inaccessible for years because of its recent activity.

As of late, Indonesia’s volcanoes have been erupting without much warning. In September, more than 200 tourists were trapped on the side of Mount Barujari when it erupted a giant column of ash. And in November, Mount Agung erupted a cloud of volcanic ash, leaving more than 59,000 tourists stranded.