An active volcano in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island unexpectedly erupted again, killing at least 16 people.
The death toll from the sudden eruption could increase, officials said, as toxic clouds of hot ash hindered search and rescue teams looking for more victims and survivors.
Mount Sinabung erupted again on February 2, only a day after local officials allowed thousands of residents who had been evacuated to return to its homes, claiming volcanic activity was decreasing.
The rescue teams resumed searching February 3, but were forced to stop and take cover when sirens activated to warn that the area around the volcano was not safe.
Prone to volcanic eruptions
Among the victims were residents checking on their homes, a journalist, and a group of high school students and their teacher.
Authorities fear the death toll will increase.
Mount Sinabung in western Sumatra has been erupting for four months. Officials have already evacuated more than 30,000 villagers, housing them in cramped tents, schools, and public buildings.