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A high impact volcanic ash eruption started at Sinabung volcano, Indonesia at 01:53 UTC on Monday, February 19, 2018. Pyroclastic flows traveled 3.5 km (2.1 miles) and 4.9 km (3 miles) from the summit. Ash plume was reaching an altitude of 16.7 km (55 000 feet) above sea level, the Darwin VAAC reported 04:50 UTC. Aviation Color Code was raised from Orange to Red.
The eruption started at 01:53 UTC (08:53 local time) and lasted 4 minutes and 51 seconds, Sinabung Volcano Observatory reported.
Their best estimate of the ash cloud top at 02:13 UTC was 7.4 km (23 872 feet) above sea level. The observatory noted that the ash cloud is drifting to the east and southeast, adding that its top may be higher than what can be clearly observed from the ground. The Aviation Color Code was raised from Orange to Red.
Around 200 Indonesian police and military personnel have been deployed in the eastern province of Papua where they say villages are being held by rebels.
Indonesian security forces in the eastern province of Papua are preparing to storm five villages that they say are being held by an armed rebel group, police officials say.
Around 200 police and military personnel have been deployed and are awaiting orders to secure the area, where an armed separatist group linked to the Free Papua Movement (OPM) is preventing about 1000 people from leaving an area near a giant copper mine, operated by the American miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc .
“Today the joint police and military forces have occupied various posts to be able to take action,” said Papua police spokesman, Suryadi Diaz.
“They will be taken dead or alive,” he said of the around 100 rebels that police say have tortured and abused the villagers since taking over the area several days ago.
H/t reader kevin a.
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Spreading peace and democracy…
Declassified files have revealed new details of US government knowledge of and support for an Indonesian army extermination campaign that killed several hundred thousand civilians during anti-communist hysteria in the mid-1960s.
The thousands of files from the US embassy in Jakarta covering 1963-66 were made public on Tuesday after a declassification review that began under the Obama administration.
The files fill out the picture of a devastating reign of terror by the Indonesian army and Muslim groups that has been sketched by historians and in a US state department volume that was declassified in 2001 despite a last-minute CIA effort to block its distribution.
In 1965, Indonesia had the world’s third-largest communist party after China and the Soviet Union, with several million members, and the country’s president, the charismatic Sukarno, was vociferously socialist and anti-American.
US officials were ecstatic when conservative generals imposed martial law in Jakarta, seized state radio and set out to annihilate the country’s communist party on the pretext that it had tried to overthrow the government. Within months, the army would prevail, shifting Indonesia’s political orientation to the US and opening its huge market to American companies.
The newly released files underline the US embassy’s and state department’s early, detailed and ongoing knowledge of the killings and eagerness to avoid doing anything that would hinder the Indonesian army. Historians had already established that the US provided lists of senior communist party officials, radio equipment and money as part of active support for the army.
In the latest example of a natural cataclysm displacing tens of thousands of people, and as reported earlier this week, the number of people taking shelter in makeshift evacuation centers on the Indonesian island of Bali has surged to around 104,000, officials said on Thursday, as residents fled the area around a rumbling, active volcano that is expected to erupt momentarily.
Mount Agung, the largest volcano on the island, located some 50 miles from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been shaking since August, and its tremors have increased in both intensity and strength, prompting the Balinese government to evacuate prisoners from local jails and evacuated tourists and residents away from the base of the volcano. The island’s government has declared a state of emergency, according to Reuters.
Thousands more people have been forced to flee in recent day as the government set up an exclusion zone around the volcano’s perimeter.
According to experts who spoke with the Guardian, an eruption is imminent.
Sumatra’s deadly Mount Sinabung exploded early this afternoon, spewing ash 1½ miles (2.5 km) into the sky.
Thousands of villagers were evacuated from around the mountain and warned to stay at least 4.2 miles (7 km) away, the Daily Mail reports.
“The world’s oldest person” passed away in his rural home in Central Java, Indonesia, at the ripe old age of 146 on Sunday.
Mbah Ghoto lived through three different centuries, two world wars, and outlived all of his children.