A woman has died of a heart attack after a volcanic eruption in central Indonesia that forced thousands of residents to evacuate the region, local sources say.
Mount Lokon unleashed three powerful blasts late Thursday and early Friday, rocking the mountainside region in north Sulawesi province, and the 56-year-old woman who died is the only victim so far, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
“There is no mass panic because the community has already been warned of the situation and we are continuing to evacuate people,” said volcanologist Kristianto.
Around 6,000 people sought refuge at local schools, mosques, and emergency shelters.
“This is the largest eruption I've ever experienced,” said one of the evacuees, adding that the incident “sounded like we were in a war.”
Flights within 10 kilometers (six miles) of the peak of the mountain were directed to fly around the zone.
Mount Lokon is one of Indonesia's 129 active volcanoes. Its 1991 eruption killed a Swiss hiker and forced thousands of people to flee their homes.
Located on the Ring of Fire, Indonesia is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.