Indonesian volcano spews ash as it erupts

2012-10-08 10:03
Mount Lokon volcano spews a giant column of volcanic ash during an eruption seen from Tomohon town located in Sulawesi Island. (AFP)

Mount Lokon volcano spews a giant column of volcanic ash during an eruption seen from Tomohon town located in Sulawesi Island. (AFP)

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Jakarta - One of Indonesia's most active volcanoes has erupted again, spewing clouds of ash, an official said on Monday.

The 1 580m Mount Lokon on northeast Sulawesi island erupted at 14:00 (local time) on Sunday with thunderous sounds heard as far as 5km away.

"Lokon has been quite active the past few months. This was the seventh biggest eruption since mid-September," government vulcanologist Farid Bina said from the volcano's monitoring post in North Sulawesi province.

"It produced a loud sound like thunder. But we cannot detect the height of the eruption as thick clouds covered its peak," he said, adding that muddy rains fell in surrounding areas.

There was no plan to upgrade the volcano's alert level despite the series of eruptions, he said, adding that the nearest village of 250 people was outside the 2.5km danger zone.

Dozens of active volcanoes

The volcano experienced its biggest recent eruption in July 2011, when more than 5 200 people were evacuated as it sent huge clouds of ash as high as 3 500m into the sky.

Since then Mount Lokon has erupted and spewed clouds of ash about 600 times.

The volcano's last deadly eruption was in 1991, when it killed a Swiss tourist.

The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known as the "Ring of Fire" between the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The country's most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions last year.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  volcanoes

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