Volcanos erupt in Indonesia and Ecuador

23:19, Feb 02 2014
 Mount Sinabung volcano
A hand of a villager who died when Mount Sinabung volcano erupted, is seen in a body bag at Suka Meriah village in Karo district, Indonesia's North Sumatra province.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
Mount Sinabung is seen during an eruption from Naman Teran village in Karo district, Indonesia's North Sumatra province, on January 20, 2014. More than 26,000 villagers have been evacuated since authorities raised the alert status for the volcano to the highest level in November 2013.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
<font color=#cc0000>Warning: Gallery contains scenes of death. </font color=#cc0000>Villagers run on ash during the eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano near Gamber village in Karo district, in Indonesia's North Sumatra province.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
NASA's satellite image taken over Vanuatu shows a broad plume of volcanic vog, a combination of "volcanic" and "smog", and ash rises from Ambrym and spreads across the South Pacific in this photo taken on January 7, 2014.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
Villagers carry a victim of lava from Mount Sinabung at Suka Meriah village in Karo district, Indonesia's North Sumatra province February 1, 2014.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
Villagers carry a victim of lava from Mount Sinabung at Suka Meriah village in Karo district, Indonesia's North Sumatra province February 1, 2014.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
A villager runs as Mount Sinabung erupt at Sigarang-Garang village in Karo district, Indonesia's North Sumatra province, February 1, 2014.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
Villagers flee as Mount Sinabung erupt at Sigarang-Garang village in Karo district, Indonesia's North Sumatra province, February 1, 2014.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
Ash-covered motorcycles are pictured as rescue team members walk through ash during rescue operations after the Mount Sinabung eruption at Suka Meriah village in Karo, North Sumatra province.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
Rescue team members walk through ash from the Mount Sinabung eruption during rescue operations near Suka Meriah village in Karo, North Sumatra province February 2, 2014.
 Mount Sinabung volcano
Rescue team members walk through ash from the Mount Sinabung eruption during rescue operations near Suka Meriah village in Karo, North Sumatra province February 2, 2014.

Two volcanoes have erupted in two parts of the world at the weekend, one with deadly effect.

At least 15 people have been killed by a volcanic eruption on Mount Sinabung on Indonesia's Sumatra island, while the search continues for dozens believed missing.

Meanwhile in Ecuador, a blast created an 8 kilometre column of ash above the Tungurahua volcano.

A 24-year-old man badly burned when Mt Sinabung spewed searing rocks and gas on Saturday (local time) died in hospital, while two other victims were being treated for serious injuries, said Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

Fourteen bodies were found hours after Saturday's eruption.

"There are reports that some more bodies have been found but we don’t know how many," Nugroho said.

Mount Sinabung, which has been rumbling since September, erupted again on Saturday after a few days of lull when some residents began returning to their homes nearby.

The disaster agency said pyroclastic flows from the latest eruption travelled as far as 4.5 kilometres down the volcano’s slopes at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour, destroying everything on their path.

Rescuers found 14 bodies, and said the death toll could rise after some residents who went up to tend to their crops on the volcano’s slopes did not show up at their emergency shelters.

Earlier on Sunday, an aid worker said at least 50 people were still missing.

"We lost contact with 50 residents," said Benny Kaban, a local Protestant minister and aid worker. "They usually returned to their shelters at 6 in the evening."

Most of the 14 victims died in a village less than 3 kilometres from the peak of Mount Sinabung, officials said.

The government last month extended the exclusion zone from 5 kilometres to 7, but on Friday, the National Disaster Management Agency said residents living in 16 villages farther than 5 kilometres from the peak were allowed to return home after days of quiet.

Local media reported that seven of those killed were students of a Christian university in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, who were volunteering to help displaced people.

More than 30,000 people have sought refuge in government buildings, churches, schools and mosques since the latest round of eruptions began four months ago.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Sunday expressed condolences for the deaths and urged residents to be patient.

"To residents and aid workers, please avoid the danger zone," Yudhoyono said on his official Twitter account. "Eruptions can happen any time."

The 2460-metre volcano had been dormant for 400 years before it erupted in August 2010.

The Indonesian archipelago is home to nearly 130 active volcanoes.

Weeks of eruptions by Mount Merapi on Java left more than 350 people dead and 150,000 displaced in 2010.

 volcano
The Tungurahua volcano, which has been in an eruption process since 1999, erupted on Saturday, sending ash and pyroclastic material into the atmosphere.
Volcano
The Tungurahua volcano erupts in Banos, February 1, 2014. The volcano, which has been in an eruption process since 1999, erupted on Saturday, sending ash and pyroclastic material into the atmosphere.
 volcano
The Tungurahua volcano, which has been in an eruption process since 1999, erupted on Saturday, sending ash and pyroclastic material into the atmosphere.
Tungurahua
A boy stands on a platform built next to a treehouse as the Tungurahua volcano erupts in Banos.

ECUADORIAN VOLCANO'S ASH CLOUD 8KM HIGH

Meanwhile, Ecuador's Geophysics Institute is reporting that the Tungurahua volcano has erupted three times, spewing ash and lava in what it called an important increase in activity.

The institute said that two moderate explosions on Saturday (local time)  were followed by a third of greater size, and pyroclastic flow stretched 500 metres down its flank. The blasts created an 8 kilometre column of ash above the volcano, which is located 135 kilometres southeast of the capital, Quito.

Authorities said the lava reached the lower part of a ravine called Achupashal, blocking a route to a tourist site called Banos.

Tungurahua is 5023 metre high and has been active since 1999. An outburst in 2006 left four dead and two missing.

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