Chief of Information and Data Center of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in message broadcast here on Friday that due to the eruption the Geology Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Center (PVMBG) had raised the Mount Sangeang Apis status from alert level II (Waspada) to alert III (Siaga) at 04:00 p. m. local time.
The volcano is located at Sangeang Api island, which has no permanent residents, Nugroho said.
"Residents of inland Sangeang own plantations in the island, so that during the eruption they were working on the plantations and had to be evacuated by Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) of Bima, the SAR team, military personnel and police officers using boats," Nugroho added.
Residents were evacuated to the mainland Sangeang village in Wera subdistrict of Bima district, six kilometers away from the volcano.
BPBD had distributed logistical supplies to the village, and there was no report of any casualty due to the eruption.
Sangeang island is volcanic. The island was emptied by the government through a transmigration program in 1985 and its residents were moved to Wera subdistrict or inland Sangeang.
Around 263 families were relocated from the island.
According to BNPB, the Mount Sangeang Api had erupted several times in 1911 and 1953 as well as in the 1964-1967, 1985-1987 and 1997-1999 periods.
Abandoned fields in the island are now used for farming and plantation as well as temporary shelters.
"Due to the eruption, people are now not allowed to do any activity in the Sangeang api island," Nugroho said.(*)