It was reported that Mount Sinabung, an active volcano in western Indonesia, erupted on Saturday (21st May). According to National Disaster Management Agency representative Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the volcano blasted volcanic ash as high as 3 km (2 miles) into the sky.
The volcanic ash is not likely to affect Malaysia at the moment because the winds over the country are blowing from the northwest. However, it may reach Penisular Malaysia if the volcano continues to erupt as the wind direction is expected to shift to southwesterly beginning today (Monday, 23rd May).
“If Mount Sinabung continues to erupt, the volcanic ash could reach Peninsular Malaysia after 25th or 26th May,” said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said in a statement yesterday (22nd May).
The volcano eruption killed 7 people and the 2,460-meter high volcano is still discharging hot ashes, making it extremely dangerous and difficult for any search and rescue operations.
With volcanic activity still high at the mountain, Nugroho said that more potential eruptions are expected to come.
Mount Sinabung has been asleep for 400 years before its revival in 2010 and it is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The country is located on the Pacific “Ring Of Fire”, a huge area (approximately 40,000 km) in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.