1.1 General Situation
Mt. Sinabung is a volcano situated at an elevation of 2,460 metre above sea level. This strato-volcano is located at the Karo plateau of Karo regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia, approx. 75 km from Medan. On 29 August 2010 (local time), the volcano experienced a minor eruption after the volcano had been inactive for over four centuries, with the most recent eruption occurring in 1600. Due to its long inactivity scientists were unfamiliar with the volcanoes characteristics. In the beginning of September again a few eruptions occurred. During this eruption period more than 30.000 people were evacuated in temporary shelters in the area of the closed by towns of Kabanjahe and Berastagi.
1.2 Event leading to the request
On Sunday 15 September 2013, the volcano erupted again at around 3 a.m. local time. More than 3,700 people were evacuated from areas within a three-kilometre radius of the volcano. Since then Mt. Sinabung is repeatedly active and with effect from 24. 11.2013 the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) decided to raise the status to caution/red alert (highest level IV). As of this date the volcano has forced at least 17,000 people to flee from their homes and livelihood within the evacuated 5 km radius.
The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) permanently monitors the situation and Mt. Sinabung shows high ongoing internal activities, indicating high activity of magma movement inside and below the crater. In particular in the last weeks Mt. Sinabung erupted more than 80 times and spitting his ash up to 10 km high.