Karangetang Residents Evacuated

Indonesia said it has evacuated hundreds of people living near Mount Karangetang, off North Sulawesi, as the authorities issued a red alert yesterday following its eruption.

Nearly 600 people live in three villages 4km from the volcano’s western peak, from which lava continues to spew as it disgorges heat clouds, government volcanologist Kristianto told Agence France-Presse.

‘The process to evacuate 582 villagers has been completed. All are now at safety shelters and nobody was injured,’ he said from the volcano’s monitoring post. ‘The volcano is still in the phase of eruption. We have detected lava flow which has reached as far as 1,800m,’ he added.

An eruption at the 1,784m- high Karangetang, which forms the northern part of the remote Siau Island in North Sulawesi, killed four people last August. The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known as the ‘Ring of Fire’ between the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The country’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, caused the deaths of over 350 people in a series of violent eruptions which started late last October.