Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - The Volcanic and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) is continuing to ban climbers from scaling Mount Lokon, located in North Sulawesi, following the February 10 volcanic eruption.

"The climbing paths to the crater or around the slopes are still hazardous. No local citizen or climbers are permitted to access the volcano," the Lokon and Mahawu Volcano Observation Post Chief Farid Ruskanda Bina said here on Monday.

Farid said if another eruption occurs, volcanic ash and rock spewing from the volcano`s crater would be very dangerous for hikers or others near the crater.

"Therefore, we are expecting residents to stay alert when conducting activities in the hazardous radius. Climbing access to the top of the mountain is still closed," Farid said.

Farid also expects that the entrance to the crater at "Kelurahan" (lower administrative area after sub-district) Kinilow I, Kinilow and Kakaskasen I in North Tomohon district will continue to be monitored.

"So, the entrance of some "kelurahan" around the slopes, such as Kakaskasen II, Kakaskasen III, and Wailan, still need to be supervised," he said.

Mount Lokon`s volcanic activity has continued recording several deep and shallow volcanic quakes, as well as tremors.

Also, a 300 meter high white volcanic ash plume was recorded as it burst from the volcano`s crater.

"The dangerous radius is still stated at 2.5 kilometers surrounding the crater, with a level III alert status, as recommended by the PVMBG Bandung," he said.

PVMBG continues evaluating the area to determine whether there has been a lessening of tremors.

"The evaluation could be done within a month of the eruption. If the volcanic activity has decreased we can lower the status to level II from the current state of level III," he said.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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