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Indonesia evacuates tourists after Mt Barujari eruption

Indonesian authorities are searching for several hundred tourists after Mount Barujari on Lombok island spewed a massive column of ash into the atmosphere and have evacuated over 1,100 people, the country’s disaster agency said on Wednesday.

The volcano, also known as the Child of Rinjani because it sits within the Mount Rinjani caldera, erupted without warning on Tuesday afternoon, delaying flights in Lombok and nearby Bali. The ash column reached 2,000 metres (6,560 feet).

Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said nearly 400 foreign and local tourists had been registered since Sunday to climb the mountain, leaving from Sembalun monitoring post, 11 km (7 miles) from the crater.

“We are still searching for 389 tourists, mostly foreign nationals, to find out their condition and to evacuate them immediately,” Nugroho added. There have been no reports of injuries from the eruption, he said.

The eruption interrupted flights for several hours at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, 135 km (84 miles) from Lombok, and Selaparang airport in Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, located on the Lombok Island.

Farms and trees around the 3,726-metre (12,224-feet)- high volcano were coated in a thin layer of gray ash, but nearby towns and villages were not in danger, Nugroho said.

Rinjani is among 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The archipelago is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’.
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