Indonesia’s Marapi volcano erupts, spewing ash plumes and blanketing several villages with ash

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Indonesia’s Mount Marapi in West Sumatra province erupted Sunday, spewing white-and-gray ash plumes for more about 9,800 feet into the air, and hot ash clouds blew several miles to the north, according to Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center.

There were no casualties, said Ahmad Rifandi, an official at the Marapi monitoring post, adding that villagers were advised to stay nearly 2 miles from the crater’s mouth and be aware of the danger of potential lava.

National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson, Abdul Muhari, said several villages were blanketed with falling ash, blocking out the sun in many areas. Authorities distributed face masks and urged residents to wear eyeglasses to protect them from volcanic ashes, he said.

Marapi’s eruption alert level was maintained at the second-highest level, Abdul Muhari said, and confirmed that authorities have been closely monitoring the volcano after sensors picked up increasing activity in recent weeks.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said Sunday it is currently assessing whether there is a possible tsunami in the country because of Marapi’s volcanic activity.

The nearly 9,480-foot mountain has been active since January when it erupted, generating dense ash-and-steam plumes that rose as high as 1,300 feet above the crater. No casualties were reported.

Marapi is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

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