Thursday, May 22, 2008


JAKARTA - Indonesia raised the alert level on the tallest volcano on Java island Thursday after it spewed heat clouds down its slopes, the volcanology office said.

The alert level of Mount Semeru was lifted to "be prepared," two levels below eruption, when observers reported seeing the massive heat clouds on Wednesday, it said.

"It happened six times and the longest was 3,000 metres (1.8 miles) long," an observer on the slopes of the volcano told AFP by phone.

He said that activity at the 3,676-metre high volcano in East Java was not considered dangerous as only one volcanic earthquake had been registered and the nearest village was 10 kilometres away.

The Indonesian archipelago sits on the seismically active Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, and is home to about 130 active volcanoes.

- AFP /ls/CNA

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