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Villagers Evacuated as Volcano in Central Sulawesi Blows Thick Ashes

January 29, 1996

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ About 1,000 villagers were forced to evacuate a tiny island in eastern Indonesia when a volcano began to spew thick ashes, the state news agency reported Monday.

The Mount Sakura volcano on Sakura island in central Sulawesi began sputtering Friday night, Antara reported.

Mount Sakura is in the Straits of Tomini, about 1,350 miles northeast of Jakarta.

Sakura’s residents were taken four miles to the island of Togian, Lt. Col. Marsudhi Hanafi of the local police told Antara.

He said ashes from the volcano have blackened sky around Togian and other nearby islands.

Early Monday, a 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck the area, causing further panic among residents, Antara said. The quake was centered in the Sea of Sulawesi, north of Sulawesi island.

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