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Volcano erupts in western Indonesia, killing 3 villagers

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    Villagers and rescuers stand near a burning tree after it was hit by pyroclastic flows from the eruption of Mount Sinabung, background, in Gamber, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Saturday, May 21, 2016. The volcano in western Indonesian unleashed hot clouds of ash as it erupted on Saturday.

JAKARTA, Indonesia >> A volcano in western Indonesian unleashed hot clouds of ash on Saturday, killing three villagers and injuring four others, an official said.

Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province blasted volcanic ash as high as 2 miles into the sky, said National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. He said ash tumbled down the slopes as far as 3 miles westward into a river.

The 8,530-foot-high mountain had been dormant for four centuries before springing to life in August 2010, killing two people and forcing 30,000 to flee. An eruption in February 2014 killed 16 people.

All the victims of Saturday’s eruption were working on their farms in the village of Gamber, about 2.5 miles away from the slope, or within the danger area.

Mount Sinabung is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which 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.

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