East Flores, East Nusa Tenggar (ANTARA) - The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has urged residents near Mount Lewotobi Laki-laki in East Nusa Tenggara to continue wearing masks due to potential exposure to sulfur gas released by the volcano.

Mount Lewotobi has experienced several eruptions recently, including a significant one on Saturday (January 6) that sent ash columns soaring 1,500 meters above the peak.

"We urge local people to wear masks and eye protectors," stated Zakarias Ghele Raja, Head of PVMBG's Center for Volcano Monitoring and Land Movement Disaster Mitigation for Nusa Tenggara in East Flores District.

Since Mount Lewotobi's eruption status escalated from alert (level 2) to standby (level 3) on January 1, 2024, villagers residing in two nearby sub-districts have been seeking temporary shelter in designated facilities and houses.

Raja noted that the eruptions have been accompanied by bursts of volcanic ash and a moderate-to-strong sulfur odor that has persisted for the past week.

He advised residents to always wear masks during outdoor activities to prevent respiratory problems caused by ash and sulfur inhalation.

The official also emphasized the restriction against any activity within a three-kilometer radius of the eruption's epicenter.

He reported intensified deep and shallow volcanic tremors occurring over the past week, indicating increased magma pressure within the volcano.

"We encourage people to remain indoors during eruptions and periods of ashfall," he concluded.

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Translator: Fransiska M, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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