JAKARTA (Antara): Mount Batutara located on Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), erupted as of March 17, 2007, and is declared off-limit to local fishermen used to transit on the island, a local official said.
The eruption of Mt Batutara was still going on and it would be dangerous for fishermen trying to approach the island for a transit, Head of the National Geology Agency's Volcanic and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) Dr Surono saidThursday.
Mt. Batutara, which is 750 meters above the sea level, is currently on the alert status or the second level, he said.
"Lembata Island has no inhabitants, but it is often used as a transit area by local fishermen," he said.
After receiving information from local fishermen about the eruption of the volcano on March 17, 2007, volcano observation officers tried to approach the island to check the condition of the mountain, which spewed volcanic materials up to 1,500 meters high.
"However, up to now, our staffs could not approach the island at a close distance because of huge waves," he said.
JAKARTA (AP): Authorities warned thousands of people on Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) to prepare to evacuate after a volcano started spewing rocks and lava, an official said Friday.
The 748-meter (2,454-foot) Batutara, which began rumbling last week, released hot lava and rocks over the last two days and shot clouds of hot air as high as 2,000 meters (6,600 feet), said Andreas Duli Manuk, chief of Lembata district.
Andreas said about 6,800 residents in six villages on the northern coast of Lembata island, the closest islet south of the volcano, were on alert for evacuation. He added some have already fled their villages to safer areas.
Fishermen, also, have been warned to stay at least 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the volcanic island, he said.
A survey team that failed to land on the volcanic island because of high waves returned to Lembata on Thursday, Andreas said.
Batutara, whose only confirmed historical eruption was during 1847-52, is located on Komba island in the Flores sea, about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) southeast of Jakarta.
Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin