Mount Lewotobi Laki-Laki erupts three times in an hour


Mount Lewotobi Laki-Laki spews volcanic materials from its crater during an eruption in East Flores, Indonesia on Jan 14, 2024. - AP

JAKARTA: The Lewotobi Laki-Laki volcano on the Indonesian island of Flores erupted three times within an hour on Wednesday (Jan 17) morning, according to the country's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG).

PVMBG said the volcano erupted and threw ash up to 1,500m above its peak at 7:32am and 7:4am local time for 300 seconds and 306 seconds, respectively. Later at 8:23am, it erupted and released ash up to 700m for 220 seconds, the agency said.

Mount Lewotobi Laki-Laki has been at Level IV, the country's highest danger level for a volcano since Tuesday last week, indicating that an eruption could threaten settlements around the volcano.

"The public or tourists should not carry out any activities within a 5-km radius from the eruption centre of Lewotobi Laki-Laki with an expanded sector of 6km in the north and the northeast," PVMBG head Hendra Gunawan said in a statement.

PVMBG has also warned of the potential for cold lava surging into rivers upstream from the peak in case of intense rain.

Standing as high as around 1,584m above sea level, Lewotobi Laki-Laki is a twin volcano with the other one called Lewotobi Perempuan, located in the southeast part of Flores island.

Amid the volcano's activity escalation, over 6,500 residents in several villages nearby were already evacuated for their safety. - Xinhua

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