By The Washington Times    News

MOUNT SINABUNG, Indonesia — An Indonesian volcano that has been rumbling for months unleased a major eruption Saturday, killing 14 people just a day after authorities allowed thousands of villagers who had been evacuated to return to its slopes, saying that activity was decreasing, officials said.

Among the dead on Mount Sinabung were a local television journalist and four high-school students and their teacher who were visiting the mountain to see the eruptions up close, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. At least three other people were injured, and authorities feared the death toll would rise.

Sinabung in western Sumatra has been erupting for four months, sending lava and searing gas and rocks rolling down its southern slopes. Authorities had evacuated more than 30,000 people, housing them in cramped tents, schools and public buildings. Many have been desperate to return to check on homes and farms, presenting a dilemma for the government.

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

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Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano erupts, leaving up to 14 dead

The volcano has become increasingly active in the last few months, sending columns of ash several kilometres into the air

A woman flees as Mount Sinabung erupts
A woman flees as Mount Sinabung erupts
Getty

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano has erupted on the island of Sumatra, killing at least 14 people today and sending others fleeing from its falling ash.

The volcano has become increasingly active in recent months.

The last few weeks have seen the mountain regularly spewing columns of ash several kilometres into the air, and the government had already evacuated tens of thousands of people from the area.

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