This morning, March 20, 2013 at 07:57 local time, Mt. Lokon in Tomhon City of North Sulawesi province erupted again spewing 2,000 meter-high ash plume. Volcano’s Tompaluan crater had erupted with loud bangs, which led neighboring residents to leave their homes in shock and crowd the Tomohon-Manado main road as well as roads in Kinilow sub-district in Kinilow Satu, Kakaskasen to witness the eruption.
Officials say increased seismic activity was registered at the volcano before it culminated into an eruption. The volcano has been active since July 2011 and volcanic activity status was once raised to level 4 (awas). Currently Bandung Geology Agency’s volcanology and geological disaster mitigation center (PVMBG) has maintained activity status at level 3 (alert). Frequency of eruptions at Mt. Lokon has declined as previously it was two to three eruptions per week.
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. (GVP)
Featured image: Agus Solihin, 1998 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia).
The twin volcanoes Lokon and Empung rise above the towns of Kakaskasen and Kinilow as viewed from the flanks of Mahawu volcano. The more prominent Lokon volcano (left), is higher than Empung volcano (right) and lacks a summit crater. Most historical eruptions from Lokon-Empung, one of the most active volcanoes on Sulawesi Island, have originated from Tompaluan crater, which can be seen surrounded by fresh ash deposits in the saddle between the two peaks. Gunung Tetawiran rises beyond the saddle.
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