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Indonesia’s Mount Ibu erupts three times, releasing lava and clouds of gray ash

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s Mount Ibu erupted three times Thursday, spewing red lava and clouds of gray ash. No injuries have been reported.

The volcano, located on an island in the eastern province of North Moluccas, has been erupting almost every day since early May. The authorities have risen alertness at the highest level as the number of eruptions and deep volcanic earthquakes has increased significantly.

Thursday’s eruptions sent ash clouds as high as 4,000 feet into the air, said Muhammad Wafid, head of the Indonesian Geological Agency. Photos and videos recorded by the agency from an observation post showed eruptions of glowing red lava with some lightning during the eruptions.

Authorities have urged people to stay at least 7 kilometers (4.5 miles) away from the 1,325-meter-high volcano.

More than 1,900 people have been evacuated from three villages near the volcano, according to the National Disaster Management Agency. Thousands of hectares of farmland have been affected by the eruptions.

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

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