Villagers cover their mouths as smoke spews out from volcano
Singgalang-muhammad Fitrah  /  Reuters
Indonesian villagers in Bukit Sileh village cover their mouths as smoke spews out from Mount Talang on Indonesia's Sumatra island.
updated 4/13/2005 2:18:53 AM ET 2005-04-13T06:18:53

A volcano on Indonesia's Sumatra Island erupted Tuesday, spewing out clouds of ash and causing villages on its slopes to flee their homes in panic, government volcanologists said.

Mount Talang's eruption was likely triggered by a series of earthquakes that have rocked Sumatra in recent weeks, including one on March 28 that killed hundreds of people on outlying islands, said Syamsul Rizal.

Despite the eruption, the volcano posed no immediate threat to people living nearby, and the government had not officially urged them to evacuate their homes, said Taufan Hardiamaitalas, a second volcanologist.

Talang began rumbling shortly before dawn Tuesday, and then spewed out ash up to 1,640 feet into the air. Around 1,000 people living on the mountain's slopes left their homes and moved to villages further away from the 9,000-foot volcano, said Hardiamaitalas.

Talang is about 560 miles northwest of Jakarta

The mountain is among at least 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation. The country is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" — a series of volcanoes and fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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