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Long-dormant Indonesian volcano erupts again

By Andy Saputra, CNN
  • Sinabung volcano has its biggest recent eruption yet
  • The volcano became active in August for the first time in 400 years
  • Two deaths have been linked to the recent eruptions
  • Pledges for aid are nearing 5 billion rupiah ($556,000)

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- A long-dormant volcano erupted again Tuesday in northern Sumatra, triggering strong tremors and sending bursts of hot ash into the air for the second time in a week.

"Residents heard loud rumbles and a strong quake for around four minutes" when Sinabung volcano erupted about 12:24 a.m. Tuesday, according to the website of Karo province, where the volcano is.

"This was the biggest eruption to date," said Jonson Tarigan, spokesman for the province.

Two deaths were reported on August 30 in connection with the volcano's eruptions.

CNN iReport: Tourist captures images of ash cloud

"The two people died because of heart attack and respiratory complication," said Priyadi Kardono of the National Disaster Coordination Agency.

On a visit to the region Monday, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pledged 3 billion rupiah ($337,000) to the local government for recovery efforts. With other aid announced by government agencies, parliament and the private sector, the total aid pledged so far is nearing 5 billion rupiah ($556,000), the province's website said.

"The president also asked for the villagers to be patient while living at the shelters," Tarigan added. "He also appealed to the local officials to ensure health and logistics services to the 23,000 displaced people."

The Sinabung volcano erupted for the first time in four centuries on August 29, forcing the evacuation of villagers who live within 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) of the volcano's crater.