Volcanic ash spews from Mount Marapi during an eruption as seen from Tanah Datar in West Sumatra on December 3, 2023. A volcano in western Indonesia erupted on December 3, belching a column of ash around three kilometres into the sky and forcing the evacuation of dozens of hikers, officials said.

Indonesia’s Marapi volcano in West Sumatra province erupted on Sunday, spewing volcanic ash as high as 3,000 metres (9,843 ft) into the air, according to country’s disaster management agency BNPB.

The 2,891 metre high volcano erupted at 2.54 p.m. local time (0754 GMT), and volcanic ash was dispersed at high intensity to nearby districts, authorities said. Pictures from BNPB showed cars and roads covered with ash.

Authorities have barred residents and visitors from carrying out any activities within 3 kilometres of the crater, and have set the second-highes alert level for Marapi mountain.

“We have distributed masks to residents and encourage them to stay inside their houses,” said Ade Setiawan, an official at BPBD’s local disaster management unit.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific’s so-called “Ring of Fire” and has 127 active volcanoes, according to the volcanology agency.