Hundreds flee homes after volcano erupts in Indonesia

April 16th, 2008 - 2:02 pm ICT by admin  

Jakarta, April 16 (DPA) Hundreds of residents were evacuated after the Mount Egon volcano on the eastern Indonesian island of Flores erupted but no casualties were reported, officials said Wednesday. The 1,704-metre Mount Egon erupted late Tuesday, and its ash column rose 4,000 metres above its crater, said Hendrasto, an expert at the Directorate of Volcanology.

Several hundred residents from the Egon Gahar village nearly two kilometre from the volcano’s crater evacuated to avoid a possible hit by volcanic debris, said Jasinta, spokeswoman for the East Nusa Tenggara government.

“We have so far received no reports of casualties or any structural damage from the nearby village,” she said.

Mount Egon, located about 1,900 km east of Jakarta, had last erupted in 2004, also causing no injuries, said Hendrasto, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

He said a team of experts were sent to Mount Egon to monitor its volcanic activity.

“We’re calling on the residents living to the west and northwest of Mount Egon to wear face masks if they are doing outdoor activity,” Hendrasto said.

Volcanologists also recommended airplanes flying in and out of the nearby Maumere district’s airport to be cautious when flying around Mount Egon.

The Indonesian archipelago, straddling the seismically active “Ring of Fire”, has the world’s highest density of volcanoes. Of its 500 volcanoes, 128 are active and 65 are listed as dangerous.

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