Indonesia raised the alert status for Anak Krakatau volcano to its second highest level on Monday, a day after it erupted and spewed a towering eruption column of ash and gas 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) into the sky, AFP reports.
Authorities raised the threat of the volcano to level three of a four-tier volcanic alert system adopted by Indonesia after witnessing a sharp rise in activity and gas emission in the last month with the biggest eruption coming on Sunday.
They also widened the exclusion zone around the crater a day after warning nearby residents to wear masks outside because of the large plume of ash it belched over the strait that separates the islands of Java and Sumatra.
“We have increased the status of Mount Anak Krakatoa from level two… to level three and recommended that nobody is allowed to get closer than a five-kilometer radius from the active crater,” Hendra Gunawan, head of the Centre of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, told a virtual press conference.
No evacuations have been reported on nearby islands and Gunawan said the busy sea route from Java’s Merak port to Sumatra’s Bakauheni port was unaffected.
The volcano has been sporadically active since it emerged from the sea in December 1927 in the caldera formed after the 1883 eruption of Mount Krakatoa. That disaster was one of the deadliest and most destructive in history, with an estimated 35,000 people killed.
In 2018, a steam-explosion along the slopes of Anak Krakatau, meaning Child of Krakatoa, triggered a massive landslide into the sea. The volcano’s height went from 338 meters to 110 meters. The resulting tsunami hit the coast around Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, killing 429 people and leaving thousands homeless.