Indonesia's Mount Ibu Erupts Again, Spewing Thick, Gray Ash High Into The Air

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s Mount Ibu erupted again on Sunday and spewed thick, gray ash 7,000 meters (16,000 feet) into the air, officials said.

The volcano, which is located on an island in the eastern North Maluku province, erupted for more than six minutes, according to Muhammad Wafid, chief of Indonesia’s Geology Agency.

A column of ash could be seen rising high into the sky. It spewed out material including volcanic ash and sand.

At the time of the eruption, the wind was blowing to the west, and as a result the volcanic material was carried by the wind down to a site where people previously evacuated have been living, in a field at Gam Ici village, said National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari. A team from the agency is headed to the affected location.

Local authorities advised residents not to carry out outdoor activities and remain sheltered indoors as long as the rain of ash mixed with sand continues.

Mount Ibu has been continually erupting since early May. Indonesia's authorities have raised the alert to the highest level following a series of eruptions since last week.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, has 120 active volcanoes. It is prone to volcanic activity because it sits along the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.