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 Thousands Evacuated as Sulawesi Volcano Erupts

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BerichtOnderwerp: Thousands Evacuated as Sulawesi Volcano Erupts   Thousands Evacuated as Sulawesi Volcano Erupts Icon_minitimevr 15 jul 2011 - 7:49

Jakarta Globe & AFP | July 15, 2011

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) announced that Mountain Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi erupted on Thursday.

The eruption spewed ash, sand and other volcanic material as high as 1500 meters above the ground, causing forest fires around the volcano.

"There was a big eruption around 10:31pm local time (1531 GMT), which saw ash, sand and rocks thrown 1,500 meters into the air," government volcanologist Kristianto told AFP.

Another eruption took place at 12.30 a.m.

Fifty-five eruptions took place in the six hours following the first eruption.

More than 2,500 people were evacuated to four shelters. There were no reported deaths or injuries from the eruption.

There has been a significant rise in volcanic activity at Mount Lokon on Sulawesi island since June 9, prompting hundreds of people to evacuate the area.

The volcano's status was raised to its highest red alert level after it spewed ash 500 meters into the air over the weekend, leading to a 3.5-km evacuation zone being established in case of a bigger eruption.

"There is no mass panic because the community has already been warned of the situation and we are continuing to evacuate people," added Kristianto, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

Around 28,000 people live within the evacuation zone.

The 1,580-meter Mount Lokon is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. It erupted in 1991, killing 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, has killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions which started in late October.

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» 40 People Trapped, Villages Evacuated As Mt Karangetang Erupts
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» Indonesian volcano erupts..,

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