Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, July 14 2011, Mount Lokon-North Sulawesi Eruption

Mount Lokon in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province erupted on Thursday, July 14, 2011, 23.45 local time (eastern Indonesian time) spewing sand and ash that reached 1.500 meter in height, blanketed two villages on its slope, Kinilouw and Kakaskase. The ashes reach as far as Tondano Lake. Lava cascaded from the mouth of the crater, triggering forest fires along its western slope. Approximately 11.000 villager lives within radius of 3.5 km from the volcano forced to leave their homes into evacuation shelters outside the forbidden zone. (Upper Photo: AFP)

Two hours later on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 01.05, smaller eruption occurs with eruption column reaches 600 meters in height. That eruption was followed by third eruption at 1:10am on Friday.

The 1689-meter high Mount Lokon began its activity few weeks ago, indicated by increasing of volcanic tremors. Its last major eruption in 1991 killed a Swiss hiker and forced thousands of people to flee their homes. The authority has raised the alert level of this volcano to its highest on Sunday, July 10, 2011.

The evacuation is still in progress, the exact number of causalities and refugees are not yet released. The only victim so far was a 56-year-old woman who died of a heart attack.

Image: Mount Lokon, North Sulawesi eruption on Thursday, 14 July 2011 (image source: Kompas)

Mount Lokon precursor eruption on July 10, 2011 (image courtesy of: Henric Hansson)

Location of Mount Lokon in North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Update: As in 7/19/2011, at least 5.205 people have evacuated the region, but evacuations may continue as Mount Lokon's activity was still intense.

The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) recorded two additional eruptions on Monday (7/18/2011) that were only 10 minutes apart. The first one was registered at 1:24 p.m. local time, and the second at 1:34 p.m. The first eruption produced a thick gray cloud that rose to a height of 200 meters (656 feet), while the second one spewed out a 600-meter (1,968-feet) ash cloud above the active crater.


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