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The Mount Lokon volcano spews thick smoke and ash into the air in Tomohon on the northeastern part of Indonesia's Sulawesi island - AFP.
A volatile volcano in central Indonesia unleashed its most powerful eruption yet Sunday, spewing hot ash and smoke thousands of feet (meters) into the air and sending panicked villagers racing back to emergency shelters. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Mount Lokon, located on northern Sulawesi island, has been dormant for years but rumbled back to life late last week.
A series of overnight blasts Thursday and Friday claimed one life — a woman who suffered a heart attack as she fled.
But Surono, a government volcanologist who uses only one name, said Sunday's 10:35 a.m. eruption released the greatest amount of energy so far, shooting soot and debris 11,400 feet (3,500 meters) into the sky.
"We're hoping this helped ease pressure building up behind the magma dome and that we'll now start seeing a reduction in activity," he said. "But it's too early to know."
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