We awoke this morning to news that the Indonesian volcano Gunung Sinabung has again erupted. As you may recall, it was just a few months ago that we were in Berastagi, Sumatra, Indonesia climbing Gunung Sibayak. Each morning and evening while we were in Berastagi would would climb to the roof of the home we were staying in and watch the smoke coming from Sinabung.
The husband of the family we were staying with had an extensive album of photos he had taken in 2010, the last major eruption of Sinabung. The photos were a strong reminder of nature’s power – flowing lava, billowing smoke, dozens of charred bodies, horribly burned survivors with skin baked and peeling, everything covered in snow-like ash… A nightmarish scene.
And yet people choose to live and work all around the volcano. The land is fertile, the climate friendly. The area is Sumatra’s “bread basket.” The family we stayed with was convinced that it was totally safe.
To put the locations in perspective, here is a map that shows Sinabung, Sibayak and the house where we stayed:
We hope our friends there are safe, and continue to be so…