Amongst the 14 recently recovered bodies, three schoolchildren and a teacher were identified, but many more could be under the grey ash which covers the surrounding area and officials cannot get closer because of the searing heat.
Last September, thousands were evacuated when Sinabung erupted after being dormant for three years. Back in 2010, after the volcano's 400 years of dormancy, at least two people were killed in a sudden eruption and 30,000 others were displaced.
These Indonesian people live on the edge of terror, never knowing if they can return to their homes. I can imagine their sense of loss and violation about Mother Nature's unpredictability.
A similar catastrophe could happen to any one of us at any time, be it floods like the north of England is experiencing this year, tornadoes, bush fires or a big freeze. This brings me to wonder what life is about. Are we just born to find food, live, reproduce and die? Or is there a higher purpose? Should we achieve a specific task during our lifetime? If a natural event wiped me out, have I done what I needed to?
There's a saying, 'Live each day as if it's your last'. I take that to mean, 'leave nothing undone'. Tell that special person you love them, patch up that quarrel, and appreciate those around you.