Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Thousands flee as Mt. Talang erupts

After a series of earthquakes that have rattled many cities in Sumatra, the Mount Talang volcano in Solok regency, West Sumatra erupted on Tuesday, sending hot ash high into the air and causing residents living on its slopes to flee to safety.

The 2,572-meter volcano spewed hot ash 10 meters high at 3 a.m., causing a layer of ash 20 centimeters thick to settle over five villages on its slopes. No casualties have been reported so far.

Solok regent Gamawan Fauzi told The Jakarta Post by phone on Tuesday that some 20,000 residents in the regency's five villages -- Nagari Batu Alam, Bukit Sileh, Batu Bajanjang, Koto Laweh and Air Batumbuk -- have been evacuated to safer places following the eruption.

Chairman of the Indonesian Geological Association in West Sumatra, Ade Edwar, told the Post by phone from Solok that the eruption was likely triggered by the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit Padang on Sunday. The epicenter of Sunday's earthquake lies near Siberut island, some 115 kilometers west of the city.



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