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Huge ash cloud as Indonesia's Mount Soputan erupts


JAKARTA, Indonesia — A volcano erupted in central Indonesia on Thursday, shooting plumes of white smoke and sand 1,500 yards into the air and covering nearby villages in ash, officials said.

Violent tremors sent farmers tilling land near Mount Soputan's crater fleeing before the blast, said Sandy Manengke, a local monitoring official, adding that there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The nearest villages are five miles from the crater's mouth, well clear of the danger zone, he added, but many houses were covered in black soot and residents wore face masks to protect themselves against the smoke.

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