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For four centuries Mount Sinabung in Indonesia held its peace. It's sleeping no longer. The volcano in North Sumatra province started erupting in late November. It's been sending out increasingly powerful eruptions ever since. On Tuesday it hurled more choking clouds of ash high in the sky. Resident say some homes and many of their crops have gone. (SOUNDBITE)(Bahasa Indonesia) NANDO SITEPU, RESIDENT OF SIBINTUN VILLAGE, SAYING: "Many houses have collapsed, trees have fallen down, and many of our garden crops have been damaged and can't be harvested. Everything is destroyed." The National Disaster Management Agency says nearly 22, 000 people have been evacuated. Some stay in shelters overnight but come back during the day. Experts monitoring the volcano's activity have issued the highest alert status and are warning people to stay at least five kilometres away from the crater.