Volcanic eruption closes Indonesian airport

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2011 8:34 PM
Volcanic eruption closes Indonesian airport

A volcano has erupted in eastern Indonesia, forcing the closure of a nearby airport and blanketing villages with thick ash. No injuries have been reported.

State volcanologist Surono says Mount Gamalama spewed clouds of thick gray ash into the air late Sunday. Slow moving red lava was also visible at its peak.

Surono, who uses only one name, says an airport in Ternate, around 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the volcano, was closed Monday.

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Gamalama's last major eruption was in 2003. No deaths were reported then.

Indonesia has about 500 volcanoes. Of these, 128 are active and 65 are listed as dangerous.