Mount Gamalama, a stratovolcano located on the island of Ternate in Indonesia's Maluku Islands chain, erupted at 11:52 (local time) on Thursday, October 4, making the volcano the third to erupt in the region in recent days. The eruption from Gamalama sent a column of ash 250 m (820 ft) into the sky. Local authorities, however, have declared this to be a minor eruption. A level two alert (scale of 0 to 5, with 5 as the most serious alert) has been put in place, and people have been advised to stay at least 1.5 km (0.9 mi) away from the mountain. Further eruptions and consequent travel disruptions are possible in the coming days.
Gamalama is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes and forms the entire island of Ternate off the western coast of Halmahera. Mount Soputan, north of Sulawesi, and the Son of Krakatoa volcano, on Java, erupted on Wednesday, October 3. The volcanic eruptions are not believed to be related to the devastating September 28 earthquake and tsunami in central Sulawesi, which has resulted in over 1400 deaths.
Individuals in or traveling in the region are advised to monitor the situation and anticipate further eruptions, ash emissions, and possible transportation disruptions. Individuals in the immediate vicinity of Gamalama are advised to take precautions to avoid ash inhalation, be cautious near river valleys for risk of debris and lava flows, and adhere to all instructions (e.g. evacuation notices) issued by local authorities.
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