Nearly 1,700 villagers on Sumatra Island have been forced to flee their homes as the local authorities declared a seven-day emergency after Mount Sinabung erupted twice on November 3.

Food, masks, sanitation kits and other relief aid have been delivered to the scene, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Management and Mitigation Agency said.

Soldiers, police and officials from the agency were involved in the evacuation, as well as emergency relief works, Sutopo added.

The authorities recommended that people living within 3km of the crater evacuate the area.

The level of threat was raised to a stand-by level, the second highest status following the hike in seismic activity on the mountain over the recent weeks.

The 2,475m high Mount Sinabung volcano erupted in September for the first time in three years and has been erupting intermittently ever since.-VNA