World

Ash from smoldering Indonesian volcano Sinabung blankets parts of provincial capital Medan

  • A man watches as Mount Sinabung releases a pyroclastic flow in Tiga Pancur, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The volcano has been put at its highest alert level since June 2 following significant increase in its activity. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    A man watches as Mount Sinabung releases a pyroclastic flow in Tiga Pancur, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The volcano has been put at its highest alert level since June 2 following significant increase in its activity. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken with long exposure, hot molten lava flows from the crater of Mount Sinabung as seen from Tiga Pancur, early Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The volcano has been put at its highest alert level since June 2 following significant increase in its activity. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    In this photo taken with long exposure, hot molten lava flows from the crater of Mount Sinabung as seen from Tiga Pancur, early Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The volcano has been put at its highest alert level since June 2 following significant increase in its activity. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)  (The Associated Press)

Volcanic ash from Indonesia's smoldering Mount Sinabung has blanketed parts of Medan, the provincial capital of North Sumatra, forcing residents to wear masks.

Head of the local disaster mitigation agency, Subur Tambun, said smoke spewing Wednesday from the mountain is being carried by winds toward Medan.

TV footage showed ash blanketing parts of the city which is about 50 kilometers (31 miles) northeast of the mountain.

According to the monitoring post, there were seven hot ash avalanches Wednesday that slid up to 3,500 meters (10,500 feet) southeastward. The ash cloud billowed 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) high.

The 2,460-meter (8,070-foot) volcano has spewed hot lava almost daily since its alert status was raised early this month to the highest level.