SUGIHWARAS, Indonesia -- Volcanologists in the southern Indonesian city of Sugihwaras said Monday a massive eruption from Mount Kelud appeared imminent.
The 5,700-foot volcano has been very active internally for the past two weeks, and on Sunday, hot ash spewed from the crater, 1,600 feet up, as boiling water poured down the sides, the Antara news agency reported.
That damaged equipment used to monitor the temperature in the crater's lake, the level of which has been falling, officials at the Center for Volcanology and Geological and Hazard Mitigation said.
Some 350,000 people live within six miles of the volcano, which is about 60 miles southwest of Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city.
Officials put the volcano at its highest alert level two weeks ago, the news agency reported.
In Kelud's last eruption in 1990, at least 30 people were killed. In 1919, an estimated 5,000 people were scalded to death in a flood from the peak's lake, the report said.
Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.