Tomohon, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Mount Lokon again erupted and spewed hot ash into the air 3,000 meters high on Sunday at 10.42 am local time.

"This time the eruption is higher than the previous ones, but it only spewed volcanic ash and no lava. We ask the refugees to still use masks to prevent respiratory problems," Irwan Lalegit, coordinator of the North Sulawesi Red Cross`s emergency response command post, said here on Sunday.

The number of refugees since the volcano`s eruption has reached 1,355 families of 4,868 people mostly from Kinilow I, Kakaskasen, Tinoor I and II and Rungku Wailan. They had been given shelters in eight refugee camps.

"We serve 512 refugees in the public kitchens and distributed blankets, but it`s not enough for everybody. Besides, we have also provided masks," Lalegit said.

Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono visited the refugees in Tomohon on Saturday (July 16).

Mount Lokon has erupted since Sunday (July 10)prompting thousands of people to evacuate to safer places.

A major eruption on Thursday (July 14) had caused forest fires around the volcano, according to Head of the Data and Information Center of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in Jakarta recently.

The BNPB, Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) and relevant government institutions have evacuated people living in the danger zones.

Military personnel and members of the Search and Rescue (SAR) team also helped evacuate people living around 3.5 km from the mountain.

The refugees were given shelters at Tomohon Christian High School (SMA), Binsus Tomohon Christian SMA, Christian 2 Tomohon Vocational High School (SMK) 2, Tomohon Junior High School (SMP) 1, city park, and GMIM 7 Tomohon Elementary School (SD).

Editor: AA Ariwibowo
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