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Northern Indonesian volcano spews smoke, heat clouds

file image of an Indonesian volcano
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Aug 14, 2007
A volcano on Indonesia's Sulawesi island spewed smoke into the sky and spat heat clouds down its slopes Tuesday, but no evacuation of people in its surrounds was needed, an official said.

A column of smoke soared 1,500 metres (yards) above Mount Soputan and clouds of gas shot down its western slope, said Sandi, an official manning the vulcanology observation post on the volcano's slopes.

"It actually began to spew smoke yesterday (Monday) but the first heat clouds went 500 metres down the western slope only early this morning," Sandi told AFP by telephone.

He said that activity at the 1,783-metre (5,955-foot) volcano in Minahasa district of North Sulawesi province was not considered dangerous, as no volcanic earthquakes were registered and the mountain was sparsely populated.

"The highest village on the slope, Winorangenean, is still kilometres and several hills away" from the peak, Sandi said, adding that the office had not issued any warning to evacuate.

The volcano, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of North Sulawesi's capital Manado, is one of the most active on the island and has erupted annually since 2003. An eruption in 1995 killed one person.

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Expert Challenges Earthquake Theory Behind Indonesian Mud Volcano
Durham UK (SPX) Aug 01, 2007
A leading vulcanologist has repeated his assertion that an Indonesian mud volcano was almost certainly manmade despite a new study claiming the eruption might have been triggered by an earthquake. Professor Richard Davies of Durham University's Centre for Research into Earth Energy Systems (CeREES), said the volcano, known locally as Lusi, was most likely caused by the drilling of a nearby exploratory borehole looking for gas.

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