Thousands forced to flee after volcano eruption in eastern Indonesia

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A volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted on Sunday, sending a column of ash up to 4,000 meters into the sky and forcing thousands to leave their homes.
Nearly 2,800 people from at least 28 villages fled the slopes of Mount Ili Lewotolok, located on Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, as the volcano began to erupt, said Raditya Jati, spokesperson. word of the Disaster Mitigation Agency. There were no reports of death or injuries from the eruption.

The Transport Department said a theft warning was issued after the eruption and a local airport was closed due to ash rains over many areas of the island.

Mount Ili Lewotolok has been erupting intermittently since October 2017. The Volcanological and Geological Risk Mitigation Center raised the volcano’s alert level to the second-highest level on Sunday after sensors resumed increasing activity.

The 5,423-meter volcano is one of three currently erupting in Indonesia along with Merapi on the island of Java and Sinabung on the island of Sumatra.

The 5,423-meter volcano is one of three currently erupting in Indonesia. (Muhammad Ilham / Reuters)

They are part of more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.

After the eruption, the Disaster Mitigation Agency advised villagers and climbers to stay four kilometers from the crater and be aware of the danger of lava.

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