Lewotolo volcano Alert Level raised, Indonesia

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Indonesian authorities have raised the Alert Level for Lewotolo stratovolcano, East Nusa Tenggara from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1 – 4). The Aviation Color Code remains Yellow. The last eruption of this volcano took place in 2012.

The decision to raise the alert level was made due to increased seismic activity observed over the past 7 days and solfatara emissions rising up to 500 m (1 640 feet) above the crater rim.

People living around the volcano and visitors/climbers/tourists are urged not to enter the 2-km-radius (1.2 miles) exclusion zone around the crater.

The last VONA for this volcano was issued on October 9, 2017, after similar conditions observed at the volcano. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow. The Alert Level was raised to 2 on October 7, following an increased number of shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes.

The last eruptive period of this volcano lasted from January 2 to 14, 2012 (VEI 1). Seismicity increased on December 31, 2011 and intensified on January 2, the same day incandescence was observed. Based on visual and seismic observations, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 1 to 2 on January 2, then later that day raised the Alert Level to 3.

Fumarolic plumes rose 200-500 m (650 – 1 640 feet) above the summit and incandescence was observed between January 5 and 15. 500 people have evacuated their homes on January 6. The Alert Level was lowered back to 2 on January 25.

Its previous eruption took place in 1951 (VEI 2).

Geological summary

Anchoring the eastern end of an elongated peninsula that is connected to Lembata (formerly Lomblen) Island by a narrow isthmus and extends northward into the Flores Sea, Lewotolo rises to 1 423 m (4 668 feet).

Lewotolo is a symmetrical stratovolcano as viewed from the north and east. A small cone with a 130-m-wide (426 feet) crater constructed at the SE side of a larger crater forms the volcano’s high point. Many lava flows have reached the coastline.

Historical eruptions, recorded since 1660, have consisted of explosive activity from the summit crater.

Featured image credit: PVBMG

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