Ibu erupts again in Indonesia
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Ibu erupts again in Indonesia

No new evacuations but communities near volcano remain on high alert

Lightning appears amid a storm as Mount Ibu spews volcanic material during an eruption, as seen from Gam Ici in West Halmahera, North Maluku province of Indonesia on May 18. (Photo: Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation via Reuters)
Lightning appears amid a storm as Mount Ibu spews volcanic material during an eruption, as seen from Gam Ici in West Halmahera, North Maluku province of Indonesia on May 18. (Photo: Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation via Reuters)

JAKARTA - Mount Ibu erupted again on Tuesday, spewing thick columns of grey ash five kilometres into the sky, the Indonesian volcanology agency PVMB said, but there were no immediate reports of evacuations.

The volcano on the eastern island of Halmahera in North Maluku province erupted at 5.36am for about two minutes, said Heruningtyas Desi Purnamasari, an official of the agency, adding that all activities had been barred within seven kilometres of the crater.

“The volcano is recently active because there is an intense magma movement,” Heruningtyas said, adding that its alert status was at the highest level, where it has been since May 16.

Clouds of grey ash billowed into the sky from the crater in video images provided by PVMB, following a smaller eruption on Monday.

The eruptions are the latest in a series since May that spurred authorities to evacuate seven nearby villages, although Tuesday’s incident forced no new evacuation, the disaster agency BNPB said.

Indonesia straddles the “Pacific Ring of Fire:”, an area of high seismic activity where multiple tectonic plates meet.

Last month, the eruption of the Ruang volcano in North Sulawesi spewed incandescent lava, forcing the evacuation of more than 12,000 people.

More than 60 were killed after flash floods and cold lava flow from Mount Marapi, one of the most active volcanoes in the province of West Sumatra, inundated several nearby districts following torrential rain on May 11.

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