Mount Lokon erupts on Sulawesi island

The threat of an eruption of Mount Lokon has been increasing since June 9th. The alert level was raised 4 days ago that an eruption was imminent and more than 4,000 people have left or have been evacuated. The volcano finally erupted in the early hours of Friday morning with 55 separate eruptions over 6 hours but with the advance warnings and orderly evacuations there is no significant threat to human life. Mount Lokon last erupted in 1991.

Mount Lokon erupting

Mount Lokon erupting: image Reuters

Earthquake Report:

“In general people are not afraid as the volcano which follows a more or less regular ash burst interval of 10 to 15 minutes.  Some of them are living as close as 2 km from the crater which could be very dangerous if a strong explosive eruption would send a pyroclastic flow along the slopes of the volcano. People should have learned lessons from the eruption of Merapi volcano which killed hundreds of people last year.” 

The Jakarta Globe reports:

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) announced that Mountain Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi erupted on Thursday. 

The eruption spewed ash, sand and other volcanic material as high as 1500 meters above the ground, causing forest fires around the volcano. “There was a big eruption around 10:31pm local time (1531 GMT), which saw ash, sand and rocks thrown 1,500 meters into the air,” government volcanologist Kristianto told AFP.

Another eruption took place at 12.30 a.m. Fifty-five eruptions took place in the six hours following the first eruption. More than 2,500 people were evacuated to four shelters. There were no reported deaths or injuries from the eruption.

There has been a significant rise in volcanic activity at Mount Lokon on Sulawesi island since June 9, prompting hundreds of people to evacuate the area. The volcano’s status was raised to its highest red alert level after it spewed ash 500 meters into the air over the weekend, leading to a 3.5-km evacuation zone being established in case of a bigger eruption.

“There is no mass panic because the community has already been warned of the situation and we are continuing to evacuate people,” added Kristianto, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

Around 28,000 people live within the evacuation zone.

The 1,580-meter Mount Lokon is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. It erupted in 1991, killing a Swiss tourist.

Related:

Mt. Merapi eruptions continue into second week

Tags: , , , ,


%d bloggers like this: