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Indonesia's Mount Lokon erupts, disrupts air traffic network MANADO - Indonesia's Mount Lokon, which is located on the northern tip of the island of Sulawesi, on Monday erupted, officials said, who also warned air traffic networks.

Indonesian Transportation Ministry's Public Communication Center chief Bambang S. Ervan said volcanic ash reached 50,000 feet into the air after its latest eruptions, Antara news agency reported. Bambang also warned air traffic networks to avoid flying through the area and to take extra precautions.

In its 'Notice to Airman,' the Transportation Ministry established the eruption's danger zone of 10 Nautical Miles, or some 18.52 kilometers (11.5 miles) from Mount Lokon. Meanwhile, local authorities said about 7,000 inhabitants, who reside near the foot of Mount Lokon, namely those in the Kakaskasen and Kinilow areas, will be evacuated starting Tuesday morning.

Residents had been advised to evacuate the area since Monday night, as Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency's (BNPB) Data Center Chief Sutopo Purwon Nugroho said officials had established Lokon's evacuation zone to at least 3.5 kilometer (2.2 mile) radius from its crater. He also urged resident to be aware of further eruptions, possible lava flow through a river, which flows down from Lokon's peak, as well as dust, sand, and rock rains.

Tuesday's evacuation will be carried out with dozens of school buses, cars, and trucks, which have already been lined up at the local search and rescue agency. Three evacuation centers are also being prepared in which several tents have been set up.

Earlier, BNPB raised the volcano's alert level status after Mount Lokon, which is 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) high, increased its volcanic activity. Since 12:40 a.m. local time, it spewed varied amounts of ash until erupting at 3:50 p.m., producing a thick brownish volcanic ash cloud, North Sulawesi Volcanic Monitoring Post Farid Ruskanda Bina said.

Farid said the exact height of the the ash cloud could not be determined because the eruption was fresh. He did underline, however, that the eruption was big.

Nonetheless, Sutopo called on residents to keep calm and follow indication announced by local officials and not believe rumors. Lokon is located some 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) away from Manado, Sulawesi's second-largest city, and is located on the island's northern tip, where large and small ash clouds have been seen. The latest ash cloud can be seen north of the mountain covering Jalan Tinoor, Warembungan, and may be heading towards Manado.

Dozens of active volcanoes in Indonesia are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, known for frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Next to Mount Lokon is its volcanic twin, Mount Empung, just 2.2 kilometers (1.3 miles) away.

One of Indonesia's most active volcanoes is Mount Merapi, which located in the island of Java near Jogjakarta, the country's second-most visited area after Bali. Last year, more than 300 people were killed in a series of eruptions between October and November that also displaced over 300,000 people.


Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes'):
11 July 2011 · Mount Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi on highest status
03 July 2011 · Mount Soputan volcano on Sulawesi erupts
22 June 2011 · Forced relocation of villagers on slopes Mount Merapi
31 May 2011 · 600 evacuated from Mount Dieng volcano highlands
30 May 2011 · Mount Dieng volcano status raised to 'dangerous'
25 May 2011 · Mount Dieng volcano active

Related blog entries (category 'Volcanoes') Tags: Mount Lokon, eruption, disruption, evacuation


Posted in Volcanoes @ 12 July 2011 02:09 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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