Indonesian volcano re-erupts, more people flee home

14:11, July 17, 2011      

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A volcano in North Sulawesi in central Indonesia re-erupted on Sunday, the biggest ever since its status was raised to top alert last Sunday, while the number of evacuee climbs to more than 5,000, volcanologist and disaster management agency officials said.

Mount Lokon re-erupted at 11:53 a.m. local time (0453 GMT), spewing ash up to 3,000 to 3,500 meters high and moving to the north, Kristianto, head of monitoring and research at the National Volcanology Agency told Xinhua by phone.

The mount spitted hot lava, sand and rocks materials by up to over 500 meters horizontally, he said.

"This eruption is the biggest since last Sunday," said Kristianto.

Up to now, the number of people fleeing home and flocking to the evacuation shelters rose to 5,205 from that of 4,554 on Saturday, Furgon Sapid Setianto, official of national disaster management and mitigation agency posted at the disaster site told Xinhua by phone.

The authorities were relocating the evacuees at several school buildings as the students were to study on Monday, Setianto said.

Volcanologists have 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.

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