Popular tourist destination Mount Rinjani in West Nusa Tenggara is showing increasing volcanic activity, prompting local authorities to put it on alert status and ban tourists from scaling the volcano.
"Two small eruptions at Mount Baru Jari were recorded on Saturday afternoon and the alert status has been raised," Heriyadi Rachmat, from the province's Mining and Mineral Resource office, told The Jakarta Post.
The 2,800-meter Mount Baru Jari, part of Mount Rinjani, is located in the center of its crater and surrounded by the famous Lake Segara Anak.
Heriyadi said his office detected initial volcanic activity on Thursday, when four small earthquakes were recorded in the area.
“A volcano and disaster mitigation team has been dispatched to Mount Rinjani to monitor the situation," he said.
Arief Toengkagie, head of the Mount Rinjadi National Park, said that his office had closed Mount Rinjani to tourists.
“We have closed the mountain to tourists starting today. We don't know for how long. It depends on how the situation develops and on the reports from the disaster mitigation team," he said.