Evacuees rises to over 4.500 as volcano erupts Indonesia

15:46, July 16, 2011      

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The number of people escaping volcano eruption in North Sulawesi of central Indonesia rose to about 4,550 people on Saturday, as the mount's seismic activity still high, officials said Saturday.

Mount Lokon erupted three times on Saturday at 13 : 04 p.m. local time, 07: 56 a.m. local time and 05: 11 local time, spewing volcanic ash by up to 200 meter high and directing to the north, a volcanologist at monitoring post located 5 kilometers from the mount told Xinhua by phone. "People living near the slope keep flocking to the shelters. Their number rose to 5,554 people today from that of about 3,000 on Thursday evening," an official of disaster management agency told Xinhua. According to local official of disaster management agency some evacuees have returned home.

Volcanologists raised alert status of Mount Lokon to top alert on Sunday evening, declared evacuation zone of 3.5 km and recommended evacuation.

Mount Lokon of 1,750 meters high is one of Indonesia's 129 active volcanoes. Its last major eruption in 1991 killed one Swiss hiker and displaced thousands of people.

Source: Xinhua
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