Soputan Volcano in Indonesia's eastern Sulawesi province erupted at 8:53 p.m. local time Monday, the country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
Authorities have increased the volcano's status from alert (level II) to higher level of standby (level III).
The volcano spewed billowing smoke into the air as high as 2,000 meters, heading southeast.
"The lava was seen decreasing in the east side of the volcano slope with thundering sounds heard from the crater of the volcano," Sutopo told Xinhua by phone.
By raising the status to standby, people are prohibited from any activity within a radius of 4 kilometers from the volcano, according to Sutopo. Besides, the country's Center of Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation also applied a similar ban in location between southwest and northwest direction from the volcano within a radius of 6.5 kilometers, Sutopo said.
He said that mild rain of volcanic ash poured down in Langowan, Minahasa, adding that regional disaster mitigation agency is still monitoring areas affected by the volcanic ash rain around the erupted volcano.
"People were yet to be told to evacuate.
The settlements were still out of the prohibited radius range," Sutopo added.
According to Sutopo, the eruption did not cause panic among people in the two regencies around the volcano, as the volcano is among the country's 129 active volcanoes and has been active with small scales of eruption in the last few years.
With the upgrade status on Soputan, Indonesia now applies standby status on 4 volcanoes, Soputan, Bromo, Karangetang and Lokon, 1 high alert status against Sinabung volcano in North Sumatra, while alert status was applied on 15 volcanoes.
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