Indonesia volcano erupts, ash blankets city

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Mount Gamalama in eastern Indonesia has erupted spewing grey ash and thick clouds, blanketing the city of Ternate, but there is no immediate reports of damage or injury, officials said on Monday.

Volcanologist at State Volcanology Agency Nia Hairani said that the volcano located in Molucca island unleashed two strong eruption at the weekend.

The volcano erupted at 13:22 p.m. local time (0422 GMT) on Monday, spewing ash up to 300 meters high, with the ash spreading to Ternate city, Hairani told Xinhua by phone.

As the ash has blanketed the city, the authorities asked people not to go out of their houses, spokesman of the National Disaster Management and Mitigation agency Sutopo Purwonugroho said.

An evacuation zone of 2.5 km had been issued by the volcanology agency, the volcanologist said.

Though the alert level of the volcano remained at the second- top alert, she said that the seismic activity of the mount was still high.

Mount Gamalama last erupted in 2011, killing four people.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago country, is homed by 129 active volcanoes where millions of people live on the slope or near the mountains.

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