Indonesia’s volcanic eruption sends an explosion of smoke and ash into the sky

Indonesia’s Mount Ili Lewotolok province erupted on Sunday, blowing ash and smoke as high as four kilometers into the sky and forcing more than 2,700 residents to seek refuge, the country’s disaster mitigation agency said.

More than 2,700 people were evacuated from 28 villages on the slopes of the volcano, which is located on the eastern island of Lembata in the East Nusa Tenggara province.

Despite the panic among locals, there were no reports of deaths or injuries following the eruption.

Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center said on its website that the area near the volcano is likely to be inundated with “hot clouds, lava stream, lava avalanche, and poisonous gas”.

Kasbani, the head of the center, told Reuters that the status of the volcano was raised to the second-highest level on Indonesia’s four-tier alert system due to “increasing threats”.

There are only three other volcanoes with this level, the agency said. These include the Merapi volcano on the island of Java and Sinabung on Sumatra, which erupted this month.