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Indonesian volcano belches pillar of ash

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Mount Ili Lewotolok in Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia spews ash some 4,000m high. GEOLOGICAL AGENCY OF INDONESIA/AFP

Indonesian volcano belches pillar of ash

Indonesia’s Mount Ili Lewotolok erupted on November 29, belching a column of smoke and ash 4km into the sky, triggering a flight warning and the closure of the local airport.

There were no reports of injuries or damage from the eruption in a remote part of the Southeast Asian archipelago.

But authorities raised the volcano’s alert status to its second-highest level as they warned of possible lava flows.

A 2km no-go zone around the crater was also expanded to 4km, while flights were advised to steer clear of the area as volcanic ash rained down on East Nusa Tenggara’s Wunopitu airport, which was temporarily closed.

“People are advised to not carry out any activities within a 4km radius from the crater,” Indonesia’s geological agency said.

Indonesia is home to about 130 active volcanoes due to its position on the “Ring of Fire”, a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circling the Pacific Ocean where frequent seismic activity occurs.

In late 2018, a volcano in the strait between Java and Sumatra islands erupted, causing an underwater landslide that unleashed a tsunami which killed more than 400 people.

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