The country’s disaster prevention agency said a volcano erupted Sunday in Indonesia’s eastern Nusa Tenggara province, sending ash and smoke up to four kilometers into the sky, forcing more than 2,700 residents to take refuge.
Indonesia has about 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country, and many indicate high levels of activity that could occur weeks or months before they erupt.
Agency spokesperson Raditya Jati said in a statement that the blast from Mt. The Ile Levotolok volcano, about 2,600 kilometers east of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, had created an atmosphere of terror among the people nearby.
Jati said about 2,780 people from 26 villages had taken shelter, though no casualties have been reported so far.
Mohammed Ilham, a 17-year-old who witnessed the blast, told Reuters that nearby residents were panicked and were still seeking refuge and needed money.
Indonesia’s volcanic and geological hazard prevention center said on its website that the area near the volcano was likely to be submerged by “hot clouds, lava flows, lava ice, and toxic gases.”
The epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor, however; no tsunami alert was issued. The epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor, however; no tsunami alert was issued.
There are only three other volcanoes with this level, the agency said. These include the Merpi volcano on the island of Java and the Sinabang at Sumatra, which erupted this month.
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