Indonesia's Karangetang volcano erupts, people warned and told to stay away

JAKARTA (Bernama-Xinhua): The Karangetang volcano on Siau Island off the coast of Indonesia's North Sulawesi erupted on Monday morning, with the authorities warning locals and tourists to stay away from the eruption area.

Head of the country's Geological Agency Sugeng Mujiyanto said in a statement that the volcano, consisting of two active summit craters, has launched hot ashes as far as 2 km to the southeast, Xinhua reported.

He suggested that nearby residents and visitors avoid activities within a 2.5-3.5 km radius of the craters over "potential dangers from lava flows and hot clouds".

Indonesian authorities have raised the alert to level 3 in a four-tier system on the 1,784-metre volcano since May due to its increasing volcanic activities.

Earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis frequently strike Indonesia, a country of more than 270 million people because of its location on the 'Ring of Fire'.

The Ring of Fire, also referred to as the Circum-Pacific Belt, is a path along the Pacific Ocean characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.

Its length is approximately 40,000 kilometers (24,900 miles). It traces boundaries between several tectonic plates—including the Pacific, Juan de Fuca, Cocos, Indian-Australian, Nazca, North American, and Philippine Plates.

The horseshoe belt contains two-thirds of the world's total volcanoes and 90 per cent of earth's earthquakes. - Bernama-Xinhua

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