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Indonesia raises alert level of Sulawesi volcano

Indonesia has raised the alert level for a volcano on Sulawesi island after it began spewing hot clouds and lava, a vulcanology official said on Tuesday.
Image: Smoke rises from Mount Soputan on the outskirts of Manado of Indonesia's North Sulawesi province
Smoke rises from Mount Soputan on the outskirts of Manado in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province early on Tuesday.Reuters
/ Source: Reuters

Indonesia has raised the alert level for a volcano on Sulawesi island after it began spewing hot clouds and lava, a vulcanology official said on Tuesday.

Lava from Soputan volcano flowed over half a mile from the crater while white clouds and fiery sparks shot up about 150 meters from the peak, said Surono, the head of the vulcanology center.

The official said the status was raised to the second highest level on Monday and campers had been told to stay away from the volcano, but people living on the slopes are not being evacuated as the lava will not reach that far.

Indonesia has the highest number of active volcanoes of any country, sitting on a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire."

People 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.