Indonesia's Mt Ibu erupts, spewing ash clouds

By Reuters   May 13, 2024 | 06:02 pm PT
Indonesia's Mt Ibu erupts, spewing ash clouds
A column of ash rises over the Gunung Ibu (Mount Ibu) volcano, in Tabaru, North Maluku province, Indonesia May 13, 2024 in this screen grab obtained from social media video.
Indonesia's Ibu volcano erupted on Monday morning, spewing thick columns of gray ash several kilometers into the sky, the country's volcanology agency said.

The volcano on the remote island of Halmahera erupted at 9:12 a.m. (0012 GMT) for about five minutes, projecting ash into the sky as high as five kilometers (3.1 miles), officials said.

A smaller eruption was also recorded on Friday.

The alert status of the volcano remains at the second-highest level, Hendra Gunawan, head of Indonesia's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center, said in a statement.

All activities within a five-kilometer radius of the volcano were prohibited, he added.

"If it starts to rain ash, we recommend people who are near the volcano to wear a mask and glasses," Hendra said.

Footage of the eruption shared by the center showed clouds of gray ash billowing from the crater. The official said a booming noise was also heard.

No evacuation of residents has been reported so far.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and has 127 active volcanoes, according to the volcanology agency.

In recent weeks North Sulawesi's Ruang volcano has erupted, spewing incandescent lava as lightning flashed from its crater. The eruption prompted authorities to evacuate more than 12,000 people living on a nearby island.

In December, more than 20 people were killed after Marapi volcano, one of Sumatra's most active volcanoes, erupted and belched gray clouds of ash as high as 3 km.

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