Volcano in Indonesia Erupts, Covering Villages in Ash

Motorists ride on a road covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Sinabung in Gurukinayan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Rumbling Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has shot billowing columns of ash more than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) into the atmosphere and hot clouds down its slopes. (AP Photo/Endro Rusharyanto)

A volcano on Indonesia’s Sumatra island sent columns of ash shooting into the sky on Monday, prompting a “code red” warning to airlines by an Australian agency monitoring volcanic ash.

Villages in the Karo region near the volcano were covered in layers of grey ash, which settled on trees and the tops of buildings, motorcycles and cars.

Villagers were forced to wear masks.

Mount Sinabung has been erupting intermittently since 2010 after being dormant for centuries.

Thousands have been displaced in the surrounding area, and continued seismic activity has kept the alert level at its highest point since June 2015.

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SOURCE: ABC News, Julia MacFarlane