Mount Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, erupted again at 6:30 a.m. local time on Monday, spewing volcanic material from the Tompaluan Lokon crater up to 1,500 meters in the air.
“The lava flow reached several northern area villages, namely Pineleng, Tanawangko and Tateli,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho in Jakarta on Monday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
Sutopo said the explosion was heard as far away as Minahasa, which is 10 kilometers away from the volcano.
Mt. Lokon has been erupting continuously for years, as such, for the local residents watching the volcano erupt is normal. Moreover, the volcanic materials have made the farming land in Tomohon fertile.
The status of the volcanic activity remains at Siaga or “alert” (level 3), Sutopo explained.
He said Mt. Lokon had erupted tens of times since the alert status was announced on July 24, 2011.
“The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center [PVMBG] has warned local residents and visitors to stay outside and to not go within a 2.5-kilometer radius of the Tompaluan crater,” said Sutopo.
He added both BPBD Tomohon and North Sulawesi had developed and introduced contingency plans to mitigate the impacts of the eruption on local residents. (ebf)