World

More hot gases erupt from rumbling volcano in western Indonesia; 15K evacuated in 3-mile zone

  • In this Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 photo, Mount Sinabung spews volcanic ash into the air as seen from Ujung, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Authorities raised the alert status for one of the country's most active volcanoes to the highest level Sunday after the mountain repeatedly sent hot clouds of gas down its slope following a series of eruptions in recent days. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    In this Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 photo, Mount Sinabung spews volcanic ash into the air as seen from Ujung, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Authorities raised the alert status for one of the country's most active volcanoes to the highest level Sunday after the mountain repeatedly sent hot clouds of gas down its slope following a series of eruptions in recent days. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken using a long exposure, star trails are seen over Mount Sinabung as it spews volcanic ash into the air as seen from Tiga Pancur, North Sumatra, Indonesia, early Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. Authorities raised the alert status for one of the country's most active volcanoes to the highest level Sunday after the mountain repeatedly sent hot clouds of gas down its slope following a series of eruptions in recent days. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    In this photo taken using a long exposure, star trails are seen over Mount Sinabung as it spews volcanic ash into the air as seen from Tiga Pancur, North Sumatra, Indonesia, early Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. Authorities raised the alert status for one of the country's most active volcanoes to the highest level Sunday after the mountain repeatedly sent hot clouds of gas down its slope following a series of eruptions in recent days. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this late Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 photo, Mount Sinabung spews volcanic ash into the air as seen from Tiga Pancur, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Authorities raised the alert status for one of the country's most active volcanoes to the highest level Sunday after the mountain repeatedly sent hot clouds of gas down its slope following a series of eruptions in recent days. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    In this late Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 photo, Mount Sinabung spews volcanic ash into the air as seen from Tiga Pancur, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Authorities raised the alert status for one of the country's most active volcanoes to the highest level Sunday after the mountain repeatedly sent hot clouds of gas down its slope following a series of eruptions in recent days. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)  (The Associated Press)

A powerful burst of hot ash and gravel has erupted from a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia, sending panicking villages fleeing down the mountain.

Authorities raised the alert status to the highest level on Sunday after Mount Sinabung had a series of eruptions. Six more eruptions early Monday sent volcanic debris as high as 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) into the air.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says about 15,000 people have been evacuated from 17 villages in the danger zone, a 5-kilometer (3-mile) area around the crater.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said airlines had been notified to avoid routes near the mountain in North Sumatra province.