TERNATE - The Gamalama volcano on the island of Ternate in the province of North Maluku has been put on a higher alert and has now become an 'Aware'. This has been done after the volcano started to exhaust clouds of smoke with heights up to 400 meters into the air. Since last Tuesday the volcano continuously emits thick white smoke. The last eruption of the volcano was in 2003.
The clouds of smoke are blown in a direction north of the city of Ternate over the flanks of the volcano. Because of the smoke, tourists and villagers in the area are not allowed to get closer to the peak than two kilometers. The Geologic and Volcanologic Center for Disasters has raised the status of the volcano officially yesterday.
"According to observations at the observation post near the volcano, the activity of the volcano has been on the increase for the last two weeks now. There are more tremors but changes are also to be seen visually and after the analysis of other information," said the head of the observation post, Darno Lamane.