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

Majority of Marysville City Council seats are contested

The most closely watched race is between Mark James and Donna Wright.

500 tires go up in flames at a store south of Everett

There were no injuries. And it was nowhere near as bad as that months-long tire fire in 1984.

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

A pot deal between teens leaves them injured, facing charges

Police found out about the incident when both ended up at the same hospital that night.

Funds up for council vote would aid conservation district

District stands to receive an extra $1 million each year, if the County Council gives its approval.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Lake Stevens man injured by 50-foot fall near Leavenworth

The rescuers had to tie in to keep from falling due to the steep rugged terrain.

Mill Creek hires Gina Hortillosa as public works director

Hortillosa will be responsible for creating strategic infrastructure plans to promote economic growth.

Most Read