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Indonesia lowers Mount Bromo volcano alert

by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Dec 6, 2010
Indonesian scientists Monday lowered the alert status of Java's Mount Bromo volcano from its highest level as the threat it posed to the surrounding area decreased.

Bromo, a popular tourist attraction, began rumbling late last month and the government raised the eruption threat warning to the maximum red alert.

"Its impact to its surroundings has been quite limited so far. We have decided to lower its alert status today, though it continues to erupt," government volcanologist Agus Budianto told AFP.

He said that the volcano spat columns of ash some 1,000 metres (yards) into the sky early Monday, with the eruption lasting an hour.

"For the time being we asked people to stay away at least two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the volcano's peak," he added, revising down the previous three-kilometre restriction.

Indonesia's most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, has killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions which started in late October.

Unlike Merapi, the countryside around Bromo is not densely populated as it lies within the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, a huge caldera containing several volcanoes.

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