Situation Report #8: Mt Sinabung Eruption, Karo District, North Sumatra, Indonesia


On February the 1st 2014 the volcanic activity of Mt. Sinabung caused the first direct victims since the Volcano has restarted its activity in September 15, 2013. A huge blast followed by a pyroclastic flow took the lives of 15 people and injured several more. According to the department of volcanology a pyroclastic flow in form of a hot gas as flow down the mountain up to 4.5 km with a speed of up to 200km/h and a temperature of 700°. The group was trapped within the sterile 5 km radius and was only about 2 km from the volcanic dome. The hot gas destroyed houses, farms, schools, health centres, and other public facilities in 5 villages.
For now, Sinabung continues to erupt dozens of times a day and it is not clear if the eruptions will get bigger or when they will stop. In the meantime, the local government is struggling to meet the immediate needs of the 29.227 refugees, who are living in 43 crowded temporary shelters, with very basic food, no privacy, poor WASH, poor management camp and no regular income. The government had announced to continue emergency situation to February 08, 2014.