Mount Lokon erupts again, spews volcanic material up to 1500 m in the air

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Lokon volcano, Indonesia, erupted again today, spewing volcanic material from the Tompaluan Lokon crater up to 1500 meters in the air.

The lava flow reached several northern area villages: Pineleng, Tanawangko and Tateli and the explosion was heard as far away as Minahasa, which is 10 kilometers away from the volcano.

The status of the volcanic activity remains at Siaga or "alert" (level 3). Mt. Lokon had erupted tens of times since the alert status was announced on July 24, 2011. "

The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center [PVMBG] has warned local residents and visitors to stay outside and to not go within a 2.5-kilometer radius of the Tompaluan crater.

Latest entry to GVP's weekly volcanic report was in the week of April 10 – April 16, 2013: Based on both web-camera views and ground reports, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 11 April an ash plume from Lokon-Empung rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. Ash was not detected in satellite imagery. 

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. 

Featured image: 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. Photo by Agus Solihin, 1998 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia).

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