Soputan Volcano Erupts in Spectacular Style
Indonesians Warned to Stay Away from Erupting Volcano
October 7, 2008
By Chris Laker
UK Daily Mail
Villagers in Indonesia have been put on high alert after a one of the country's most active volcanoes began spewing out lava in spectacular style.
Photo: Mount Soputan
Lava from the Mount Soputan volcano on Sulawesi island, 1,350 miles from the capital Jakarta, flowed over half a mile from its crater while hot white clouds and fiery sparks shot up about 150m from the peak.
The 3,280ft volcano began to erupt yesterday, forcing local officials to raise the eruption warning level to the third highest on their four-level system.
Spectacular: Mount Soputan spews out hot lava on the outskirts of Manado of Indonesia's North Sulawesi province
Stunning: Sand black clouds billowed out into the sky
The nearest village is eight kilometres away on the western side of the volcano.
Officials said that while campers had been told to stay away from the volcano, people living on the slopes are not being evacuated as they believe the lava will not reach that far.
Indonesia has the highest number of active volcanoes of any country and sits on a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire".
Since a previous eruption in 1991, a new lava dome has been forming at the mountain's peak and scientists have said that its collapse will see lava as well as deadly heatclouds hurtling down its slopes.
Indonesians often live and farm on the slopes of volcanoes because of the rich volcanic soil.
In the past two years, at least three major volcanoes, including Anak Krakatau, have showed signs of increased activity, but there has been no serious eruption.
Photo: Warning: Indonesia has raised the alert level for the volcano