Saturday, July 29, 2006

Indonesian volcanon gets raise in alert status

Indonesia has raised the alert status of Karangetang volcano in the country's eastern region by one level to its highest after activity increased, the Directorate of Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said today.

Karangetang volcano, which lies at the northern end of Siau island in North Sulawesi province, has been spewing lava and hot clouds since July 22, the agency said. The 1,784-meter (5,853- feet) volcano had more than 40 recorded eruptions since 1675, according to U.S. Geological Survey.
Officials evacuated as many as 1,000 villagers as Karangetang shot lava as far as 2 kilometers south of the slope, China's Xinhua news agency reported, citing Kristianto, an official on duty at the volcano's monitoring post.

Indonesia has been hit by natural disasters this year, including thousands of people evacuated as Mount Merapi, located in the nation's most densely populated island of Java, threatens to erupt. A 6.3 magnitude quake on May 27 killed more than 5,700 people south of Yogyakarta in Java, and a 7.7 quake and tsunami July 17 killed at least 658 people in the same island.

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