Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) – Mount Semero, the tallest volcano on Indonesia’s most populated island of Java, released hot clouds 4.5 kilometers (about 3 miles) on Saturday.
There were no immediate evacuations, but the National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned people living in villages on the slopes of the 3,676-meter (12,060 feet) high mountain to be careful in looking for signs of danger.
“People around the river basin on the slopes of the mountain should beware of heavy rainfall that can lead to lava floods,” agency spokeswoman Raditya Jati said.
The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation in Indonesia has yet to raise the Semeru Alert status, which is already at its third highest level since it started emerging in May. The volcano released hot ash 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) in early December, causing panic among villagers.
Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, lies on the “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.
A powerful earthquake jolted the Indonesian island of Sulawesi early Friday morning, killing at least 46 people.