The Sinabung volcano was seen as non-active, with no historical records of eruptions, until 2010. A brief eruption back then caused the evacuation of about 30,000 nearby residents and other eruptions have followed since.
The Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured the natural colored image of the recent volcano eruptions on 16 January 2014. Frequent collapses from the unstable lava dome near Sinabung’s summit have created pyroclastic flows that have swept at least 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) down the volcano’s slopes.
Ash clouds coated nearby villages, as well as the coffee, chili pepper and other plantations near the volcano. The eruptions caused permanent evacuation of the closest villages.