Indonesia's Mount Lokon erupts, thousands take refuge

By REUTERS
July 15, 2011 07:13

 
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JAKARTA - Indonesia's Mount Lokon erupted to spew hot lava and volcanic ash as high as 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) in the north of Sulawesi island, prompting panicked residents to flee the agricultural area, a government official said on Friday.

"The eruption has set ablaze the forests around the crater," said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

There are no immediate reports of casualties, he added.

The first major eruption of the 1,579-meter-high volcano, just before midnight on Thursday, woke up residents who put on warm sweaters and hats before fleeing their houses.

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