Volcano erupts in E. Indonesia, spewing ash, lava

AP News
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Posted: Sep 17, 2012 1:26 AM

TERNATE, Indonesia (AP) — A volcano has erupted in eastern Indonesia, spewing clouds of thick, gray ash. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

State volcanologist Kristianto says Mount Gamalama in the Molucca Islands sprang to life last week. It unleashed two strong eruptions over the weekend, sending volcanic ash as high as 1 kilometer (0.62 miles).

Kristianto, who uses only one name, says slow-moving red lava was visible at the peak of the eruption Monday. Villages have been blanketed with thick ash but no evacuations have been ordered.

Gamalama last erupted late last year, and its mudflows killed four villagers two weeks later.

Indonesia is a vast archipelago with millions of people living on mountains or near fertile flood plains. Seasonal downpours here often cause landslides.