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Indonesia raises red alert at Mount Lokon volcano

Indonesia plans to evacuate hundreds around Mount Lokon.

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Destruction cause by the Merapi volcano earlier this year in Central Java, Indonesia. The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes and is evacuating those around the Mount Lokon volcano today after raising a red alert. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

Indonesia reportedly raised the alert status at Mount Lokon volcano to its highest level and made plans to evacuate hundreds of people Monday.

Government volcanologist Kristianto told AFP that authorities raised the alert level due to a sudden rise in volcanic activity since Saturday. The volcano spewed ash 1,600 feet into the air this past weekend.

"Today we will be evacuating people living within a 3.5-kilometre [two-mile] radius around the volcano as a precautionary measure, in case of a bigger eruption which may be accompanied by deadly searing gas," he told AFP.

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Only those living in the path of the ash will be evacuated Monday.

Mount Lokon is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and a popular tourist destination. Tourists will also be barred from the 1,580-meter hike to Mount Lokon.

The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes. Fifteen people were reportedly killed when the Mount Merapi volcano erupted last October, CNN reports.

Another volcano, called Mount Soputan, erupted earlier this month and Mount Karangetang erupted in March, hours after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan, the Associated Press reports.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/110711/indonesia-mount-lokon-volcano-red-alert