Indonesian volcano spews ash

JAKARTA - Indonesian scientists are closely monitoring a smoking volcano popular with tourists on Java island and are urging everyone to stay off the mountain's slope.

Indonesian officials examine the crater of Tangkuban Perahu volcano in Subang, West Java, Indonesia, on Thursday. Authorities are closely monitoring the smoking volcano popular with tourists on Java island and are urging everyone to stay off the mountain's slope after it spewed smoke and ash nearly 500m into the air since Monday. Scientists have put it on the second-highest alert level. (AP Photo/Kusumadireza)

Government volcanologist Hendra Gunawan said Thursday that Mount Tangkuban Perahu in West Java province has spewed smoke and ash nearly 500 metres into the air since Monday. Scientists have put it on the second-highest alert level.   

Debris and lava have not tumbled far, and nearby towns and villages remain safe. Authorities are warning tourists to stay at least 1.5km away from the crater because of the poisonous gas inside.  

The 2,084m volcano near the city of Bandung is among Java's most popular tourist attractions. It last erupted in 1983. Visitors ordinarily can hike to the crater's edge to view boiling mud up close. 


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