Mount Lokon, stratovolcano in North Sulawesi (Indonesia) erupted again at 11:55 a.m. local time on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
The latest eruption was larger in magnitude compared to the eruption last Wednesday but local residents were more prepared.
The eruption was preceded by a number of mild earthquakes over a span of two minutes.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said smoke plumes reached 2,500 meters in height when Mount Lokon erupted.
According to geologists with the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG), it is not time for residents to evacuate yet, but evacuation sites are being prepared just in case.
The BNPB has deployed a team to keep the situation in Mount Lokon under control. The agency has also prepared transport, Rp 400 million (US$43,600) in cash and other equipment.
Other emergency teams are on stand-by in Malang’s Abdul Rahman Saleh Airport with Hercules C-130 aircraft ready for evacuation. “Everything is ready,” Sutopo said.
The twin volcanoes Lokon and Empung, rising about 800 m above the plain of Tondano, are among the most active volcanoes of Sulawesi.
Lokon, the higher of the two peaks ( whose summits are only 2.2 km apart), has a flat, craterless top. The morphologically younger Empung volcano has a 400-m-wide, 150-m-deep crater that erupted last in the 18th century, but all subsequent eruptions have originated from Tompaluan, a 150 x 250 m wide double crater situated in the saddle between the two peaks.
Historical eruptions have primarily produced small-to-moderate ash plumes that have occasionally damaged croplands and houses, but lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows have also occurred.
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