Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano erupts pictures

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung which has been brewing since four months now, unleashed its fury on the local villagers on Saturday when it spewed oodles of hot lava, blistering hot gas, and rock about two miles away in a major eruption.

The death toll from the volcano has shot up to 16, with two more dead bodies being recovered, said reports. Rescuers found 14 bodies and rescued three people with burn wounds, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

"The death toll is likely to be rised as many people are reported still missing and the darkness hampered our rescue efforts" said Lt. Col. Asep Sukarna, who led the operation to retrieve the charred corpses some three kilometers from the volcano's peak.

Those dead include students of high-school and their teacher along with a local journalist.

The volcanic eruptions came just a day after the government had ordered the villagers back to the slopes after noticing decreased activity.

Also last week, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had paid a visit to the troubled area, and vowed to relocate the displaced villagers away from the mountain. Villagers are attracted to the slopes of volcanoes because the eruptions make for fertile soil.

Sinabung's last major eruption was in August 2010, when it killed two people. Prior to that it had been quite for four centuries.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. Mount Sinabung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia and has sporadically erupted since September.