16 die in Indonesian volcano eruption

MOUNT SINABUNG, Indonesia — The death toll from an Indonesian volcano that has been rumbling for months rose to 16 Sunday after rescuers found another charred corpse and a critically injured college student died in a hospital, officials said.

Mount Sinabung erupted again Saturday just a day after authorities allowed thousands of villagers who had been evacuated to return to its slopes, saying volcanice activity was decreasing. Rescuers found 14 bodies and rescued three people with burn wounds, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Rescue efforts resumed Sunday and rescuers found another body about three kilometers (two miles) from the volcano’s peak, said Lt. Col. Asep Sukarna, who led the operation. Another resident, a 24-year-old college student died in an intensive care unit, said an official at the Efarina Etaham hospital.

Among the dead were a local television journalist and four high-school students and their teacher who were visiting the mountain to see the eruptions up close, Nugroho said. At least three other people were injured and authorities fear the death toll will rise.

Sinabung in western Sumatra has been erupting for four months. Authorities had evacuated more than 30,000 people, housing them in cramped tents, schools and public buildings, but many were desperate to return to check on homes and farms.

On Friday, authorities allowed nearly 14,000 people living outside a five-kilometer (three-mile) danger zone to return after believing volcanic activity had decreased. Others living close to the peak have been returning to their homes over the past four months despite the dangers.

On Saturday, a series of huge blasts and eruptions thundered from the 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) volcano. Television footage showed villages, farms and trees covered in thick gray ash.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. Mount Sinabung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia and has sporadically erupted since September.

More in Local News

King County sheriff could face felony charge in groping case

A former deputy claims John Urquhart groped him. Renton police forwarded the case to the prosecutor.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Pair charged with first-degree robbery in marijuana theft

A man was shot in the head during a holdup that was supposed to net about an ounce of pot.

Puffy-coated robbery suspect arrested on Whidbey

The suspect apparently wore the same outfit in 2 robberies at the same place in less than 2 weeks.

Planning — and patience — can ease Thanksgiving travel

The Washington State Department of Transportation offers information to help guide planning.

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Mobile home collapse kills one person near Monroe

The single-wide fell off its cinder blocks, pinning the person underneath it.

Most Read