Another large eruption at Lokon (updated) 17 July 2011Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Lokon-Empung.
Another large eruption of Mount Lokon in Sulawesi this morning (Sunday 17 July), according to news reports: a 3.5 km altitude ash plume, and the first confirmed fatality of the current eruptive episode, a woman suffering a heart attack as she fled the eruption [CORRECTION: apparently this unfortunate event occurred during last week’s eruptions]. Indonesian volcanologist Surono describes today’s eruption as the largest yet. As the eruption started, local residents who had been returning to their homes and crops following earlier evacuations cleared out in a hurry once again.
Darwin VAAC issued a volcanic ash advisory at 07:37 GMT reporting no volcanic ash emissions visible on satellite imagery, but noting media reports of ash between 3 km and 5 km altitude, moving north, and confirming that ‘situation will be closely monitored’. According to the New Zealand Herald flights from Manado airport have not yet been affected by the eruption, but the airport has been warned to be on alert for possible ash at altitude. The Jakarta Post reported earlier today that ‘at least 4,889 people’ had been evacuated following the latest eruption. The local paper Tribun Manado reports that civil protection authorities have been touring villages in the area and warning their residents to evacuate, and that the security of the exclusion zone around the volcano has been tightened following today’s eruption, with even local residents being denied access. Tribun Manado also has extensive photo galleries of the eruption: gallery 1– gallery 2 – gallery 3 – gallery 4 – gallery 5 (links from Earthquake-Report.com).
Some distinctly oddball stories on the eruption have also been appearing in Tribun Manado: one on traditional beliefs that certain areas will be protected by supernatural agencies from the volcano’s activity, and another on an alleged appearance of Jesus’s face in the volcano’s ash cloud.
Regularly updated coverage of the Lokon eruption can be found at Earthquake-Report.com. Thanks to Raj in Manado for reports and translations, and thanks also to reader Raving who has posted a video of the eruption in the comments below.
Indonesia volcano spews ash in biggest eruption – Associated Press, 17 July 2011
Indonesians flee new volcano eruption on Sulawesi – BBC News, 17 July 2011
4,889 evacuated after Mt. Lokon eruptions – Jakarta Post, 17 July 2011
Indonesia’s Mount Lokon volcano erupts – Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2011
Sketsa mirip wajah Yesus muncul saat letusan lokon – Tribun Manado, 17 July 2011
‘Katanya Desa Warembungan dilindungi Tatawiran dan opo Lokon’ – Tribun Manado, 17 July 2011
SAR imbau warga Desa Tinoor 1 untuk berhati-hati – Tribun Manado, 17 July 2011
Kapolres perintahkan tutup akses ke pos pemantauan Lokon – Tribun Manado, 18 July 2011
Flight alert after new Lokon eruption – New Zealand Herald, 18 July 2011