"The volcanic ash spread to as far as Tobelo, the capital of North Halmahera district," head of the North Halmahera district natural mitigation board (BPBD) Yudhi H. said on Wednesday.
"The volcanic ash, which was previously whitish, turned into fine sand, causing pain when coming in contact with the eyes," he noted.
Yudhi said that the district government had implemented a number of measures to handle the impact of volcanic ash. The authorities distributed masks among local people, including students and motorcycle taxi drivers, he added.
The district administration initially had a stock of 10,000 masks. However, since the volcano erupted at the end of May 2012, 38,000 masks have been distributed among local residents.
"So far, the villagers living on the slope of the volcano have not evacuated. We will keep monitoring the activity of the volcano in order to examine the possibility of the volcano to continue spewing ash, which may endanger human health," Yudhi said.
According to a report from the volcano monitoring post, the volcano showed signs of increased activity in the past few days. However, the volcano has still been kept on level II alert.
Mount Dukono is one of the five active volcanoes in North Maluku. Frequent spewing of volcanic ash is one of its typical characteristics.