Mount Dukono Erupts, North Halmahera Closes Hiking Route

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  • Mount Dukono releases volcanic ash on March 22, 2017. Mount Dukono Observation Outpost, North Halmahera -- Budhy Nurgianto

    Mount Dukono releases volcanic ash on March 22, 2017. Mount Dukono Observation Outpost, North Halmahera -- Budhy Nurgianto

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Dukono Volcano Observation Outpost in North Halmahera, based on an instruction issued by the North Halmahera administration, closed the hiking route to the summit of Malupang Warirang Crater. The action was taken due to an increased volcanic activity at Mount Dukono over the last two weeks.

    Mount Dukono observer Iwan Amat said until Tuesday evening, July 25, 2017, Mount Dukono erupted 172 times with amplitude of 5-34 millimeters lasted for 25.96-56.02 seconds.  Mount Dukono released thick smoke as high as 400-500 meters.

    Read: Mount Dukono Erupts; Galela Airport on Alert

    It was recorded that two local tectonic earthquakes with an amplitude of 15-21 millimeters and one tectonic distant earthquake with an amplitude of 8 millimeters occurred during the period of time.

    "However, the status is still set at alert II. We urge people to avoid climbing or approaching the top of the mountain within a radius of 2 kilometers," Iwan told Tempo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017

    North Halmahera Vice Regent Muhlis Tapitapi said that since the closure of the climbing route, the local government has deployed staff to monitor climbing activities in all areas. The government even issued a warning related to the impact of Mount Dukono.

    Read: Mt. Sinabung Erupts Nine Times in Two Days

    "We have taken early precautions. We also expect the public to comply with all decisions related to the Mount Dukono activities," Muhlis said.

    Mount Dukono is one of three volcanoes on the mainland of Halmahera Island. There are at least 23 thousand residents living on the slopes of Mount Dukono. In November 2016, Mount Dukono eruption forced authorities to close Gamarmalamo Galela Airport.

    BUDHY NURGIANTO