February 4, 2014

Update: Volcano Disrupts Mountain Communities in West Indonesia

BY ANN staff

Seventh-day Adventist
schools in West Indonesia are among institutions serving as shelters in the
wake of a series of major volcanic eruptions that displaced more than 25,000
people and left nearby villages mired in ash and mud.

Mount Sinabung in North
Sumatra erupted several times last week, spewing lava, volcanic ash and gases
as high as 16,000 feet (5,000 meters) in the air and affecting communities well
outside the established danger zone surrounding the volcano.

The mountain has erupted
intermittently since September, with activity intensifying this month. Local
sources say lava has flowed continuously since mid-January, with more than 200
eruptions reported in one week.

Three of the 37 Adventist
churches near Mount Sinabung withstood damage in the latest series of
eruptions, local church leaders said.

“With continuing
eruptions, damage assessment is not an option, so it’s difficult to determine
the extent of the damage to churches and homes,” said Adventist pastor
Trisawaty Sinuhaji.

Adventist schools in
Sumbul Kaban Jahe are accommodating an estimated 700 displaced people.
Medicine, blankets, clothing and clean water are all urgent needs, church
leaders said.

Adventist churches in
West Indonesia on January 25 collected offerings to assist families displaced
by the eruption. Offerings will also go toward those affected by flooding in
Jakarta and Manado earlier this month.

Mount Sinabung is one of
130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. Prior to 2010, the volcano had been dormant
for centuries.