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Lokon eruption: an update 13 July 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Lokon-Empung.

I’m grateful to reader Raj in Manado, capital of Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province, for sending over some translations of coverage of the Lokon eruption in the Indonesian press. From what he says, it seems that yesterday’s eruption was more a continuation of the earlier activity than a new large-scale eruption, although Tempo Interactive reported yesterday that there had been ‘a significant rise in volcanic activity since Saturday, July 9’. Fajar Online describes the event as a ‘re-eruption’ that ‘threw up ash that was expected to reach heights of a few hundred metres’, which sounds similar to the type of activity reported on Saturday. There was an increase in seismicity before the eruption and a falling-off afterwards. A local civil protection official has warned local residents of the danger of pyroclastic flows. Tribunnews.com has a photograph of Lokon-Empung with emissions visible from the saddle between the two peaks, and reports that Lokon (along with Sulawesi’s other recently active volcano, Soputan) is quiet today, although volcanologist Surono continues to warn of the danger of pyroclastic flows. Local paper Tribun Manado has extensive coverage and pictures, and reports that about 7,000 people were told yesterday that they had to evacuate.

My correspondent also says that evacuated residents are complaining about poor facilities at their shelters, and that generally speaking local residents are not bothered about the volcano’s activity and have tended to be reluctant to evacuate, despite the authorities’ warnings of the danger and reassurances that their properties will be guarded in their absence.

The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia is maintaining Lokon’s alert status at the highest level. The excellent Earthquake-Report.com site has detailed coverage of the Lokon activity, frequently updated as news comes in.

North Sulawesi’s Mt. Lokon eruptsTempo Interactive, 12 July 2011
Lokon awas, 7 ribu warga tomohon akan dievakuasi besokTribun Manado, 12 July 2011
Gunung Lokon meletus, 900 warga dievakuasi – Fajar Online, 13 July 2011
Aktivitas vulkanik Gunung Soputan dan Lokon sudah menurun – Tribunnews.com, 13 July 2011

Global Volcanism Program: Lokon-Empung – summary information for Lokon-Empung (0606-10=)
Volcanological Survey of Indonesia – information and status reports in Indonesian

The Volcanism Blog