Indonesia’s volcano eruption forces evacuation

Jakarta, Jan 20 (IANS) Around 1,000 people were displaced as Mount Egon volcano in East Nusa Tenggara of Indonesia has spewed hot ash and toxic gas, a disaster management agency official said on Wednesday.

As many as 927 people living in the dangerous evacuation zone of three kilometres were evacuated to safer grounds but 501 others refused to be evacuated, Xinhua quoted Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of national disaster management agency, as saying.

Over 2,000 masks were distributed to the villagers around the volcano in eastern Flores island to help them through the impact of the eruption, he said.

Mount Egon in Sikka district has erupted on and off since December but has been over drive in recent days.

In 2008, Mount Egon volcano spewed a six km ash column into the sky.

About 6,000 people were forced to flee homes in 2004 when the volcano erupted.

Mount Egon is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, an archipelago country situated in a quake hit zone called the Pacific Ring of Fire.

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