July 20, 2011

Indonesian Volcano Still Active

A central Indonesian volcano that began erupting last Thursday shooting hot ash and smoke into the air through Sunday, erupted twice more on Monday, forcing people to remain in shelters for their own safety, according to a government vulcanologist.

Mount Lokon, located on northern Sulawesi Island in Indonesia, until last week has remained dormant since 1991.

Monday's "two eruptions happened within ten minutes which sent a column of ash and smoke up to 600 meters (1,968 feet) into the air," government vulcanologist Freddy Korompis told the AFP news agency.

The volcano had its biggest eruption on Sunday, sending huge clouds of ash more than 11,500 feet into the atmosphere.

BBC News on Sunday reported the eruption forced thousands of people to evacuate a two-mile area surrounding the volcano, seeking emergency shelters. The alert status was put on the highest level following the eruptions. No casualties have been reported following Sunday's eruption, however, one fatality occurred after Thursday and Friday's eruptions -- a woman suffered a heart attack while fleeing, according to one reporter.

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


On the Net: