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Indonesia: Mt. Sinabung Volcano - Jan 2014

Disaster types

Mt Sinabung volcano on Sumatra island in Indonesia was dormant for centuries until it became active in August and September 2010. In early September 2013, monitoring stations picked up increasing volcanic and tectonic tremors. Subdued volcanic activity continued for almost a month before Mt Sinabung eruptions intensified again in mid-October triggering evacuations of nearby communities. Intensified activity and an eruption on 24 Nov prompted the Government to increase the volcano’s alert status to Level 4, the highest alert level, and to evacuate all communities within a 5km radius of the crater. As of the end of November, 17,030 people had been evacuated. (OCHA, 31 Nov 2013)

The volcano continued to erupt periodically through December and January. As of 23 Jan 2014, 28,715 people from 33 villages were sheltering in 42 displacement centers. (OCHA, 24 Jan 2014) On 1 Feb, the volcano erupted killing 15 people. Starting on 13 Feb, the National Task Force facilitated the return of IDPs that live outside 5-km radius from the crater. By 23 Feb, at least 17,150 people from 15 villages had already returned to their homes and a further 366 people by 24 Feb. By the end of March, 15,773 IDPs were taking shelter in 33 displacement centers. (OCHA, 31 Mar 2014) As of 30 Sept, there were still 3,278 people living in 16 IDP shelters with another 6,179 people occupying rented homes. These figures indicate a 65 per cent decrease compared to the start of July when 12,809 people (were living in 27 IDP shelters and 1,573 people stayed in rented homes. (OCHA, 20 Sep 2014)

By the end of December, eruptions had continued, the alert level remained at 3, and more than 2,400 people were still displaced in seven shelters (OCHA, 30 Jan 2015).

On 2 Jun 2015, the alert level was raised to the highest level. As many as 2,727 people or 677 families from the four subdistricts moved into the shelters on Wednesday, following a recommendation by the volcanology center to evacuate their villages. (Jakarta, 8 Jun 2015)

Mount Sinabung erupted on 17 Nov 2015 spewing volcanic ash and causing lava flow down the south-southeast slopes. Its status is maintained at the highest level since 2 Jun 2015, forcing over 9,320 people to remain at temporary displacements. (OCHA, 23 Nov 2015)