Mt Lewotolok eruption showered ash, gravels on Lembata District

Mt Lewotolok eruption showered ash, gravels on Lembata District

Mt Ile Lewotolok (center) in Lembata and Mt Ile Boleng (front) in Adonara Island, East Nusa Tenggara. ANTARA/Bernadus Tokan/sh

Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - Mount Ili Lewotolok eruption in Lembata District, East Nusa Tenggara has showered ash and gravels on some parts of the district, forcing local residents to seek refuge, the Center for Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) reported.

The volcanic ash rain was seen along the western to the southern part of the mountain, an official of Eastern Volcanic Mitigation Office of the Energy and Mineral Resource Ministry Devy Kamil Syahbana said here on Sunday.

Mt. Ili Lewotolok in Lembata District erupted on Friday (Nov 27), spewing a column of ash up to  4,000 meters to the sky.

"The volcano spewed a column of ash 4,000 meters above its peak, higher than its previous eruption. Lava activity is still high, ash rain especially can be seen in the western to southern sector of the volcano," he said.

According to Syahbana, the main threat was the spewing of volcanic materials such as ash and gravels. He called on residents to wear face mask and avoid the danger zone.

Mt Ili Lewotolok or also known as Ile Ape is a stratovolcano or composite volcano, a conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and ash, located in the northern part of Lembata Island, Lembata District of East Nusa Tenggara Province.

The volcano with a height of 1,018 meters above sea level has been put under alert status since October 2017 as the authority recorded increased lava-associated activities such as local tectonic quake, deep volcanic quake and shallow volcanic quake.

However, pressures resulted from the increased activities were not yet significant to spark an eruption.

"Over time, there is an accumulation of pressures which is now strong enough for an eruption," he said.

Mt Lewotolok eruption was recorded in 1660, 1918, and 1849. Its volcanic activities increased in 1939 and 1951.

In 2012, the PVMBG raised its status of the volcano to 2 (waspada) on the Indonesian 1-4 scale, but returned to its normal status on October 17, 2013.

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