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Indonesian volcano bursts to life, sending thousands fleeing

Jakarta, Indonesia – Thousands have fled the scene of a rumbling Indonesian volcano that burst to life for the first time in several years, belching a massive column of smoke and ash, the disaster agency said Monday.

The evacuation of more than 4 400 residents came as Mount Ili Lewotolok erupted Sunday, spouting a thick tower of debris four kilometres (2.5 miles) into the sky, triggering a flight warning and the closure of a local airport.

The crater’s last major eruption was in 2017.

There were no reports of injuries or damage from the eruption in a remote part of the Southeast Asian archipelago.

But authorities advised residents to wear masks to protect themselves from volcanic ash spouting from the crater in East Nusa Tenggara – the southernmost province of Indonesia – and to be alert for possible lava flows.

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