Indonesia's Mount Sinabung has been erupting since September, covering surrounding villages in ash and wreaking havoc on the lives of those nearby.
Most recently, volcanic ash damaged evacuated homes in North Sumatra, causing many to collapse. Students in the provincial capital of Medan reported respiratory problems. This comes just after the 8,530-foot high mountain erupted over 200 times in one week. It has also triggered nearly 10,000 small hybrid quakes since first erupting last fall.
Government officials have asked all residents living near Mount Sinaburg to wear masks as a precaution because, as one official told the Jakarta Post, shifts in wind direction made it challenging to predict where exactly volcanic ash will land.
As of last weekend, more than 25,000 people from 32 different villages have taken refuge in government shelters. According to a Jakarta Post report, 14 people have died, mostly from illness related to living in the temporary shelters for long periods of time. Sinabung Disaster Mitigation representative Jhonson Tarigan tells the Times, "we are starting to see a medicine shortage, as well as food. We hope to receive more donations.”
Below, the most recent scenes from North Sumatra ash-covered villages:
The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.