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Northern Indonesia Eruption Prompts Evacuations December 9, 2011
Satellite Image
Top: Gamalama during far more quiet times. Bottom: The volcano sending a plume of ash toward the city of Ternate.
Northern Indonesia’s restive Gamalama volcano erupted with blasts of thick ash and flows of lava that sent residents who live and work on its flanks rushing into evacuation camps on the island of Ternate.

The eruption caused a local power failure and blanketed the provincial capital of Ternate with a thick coat of debris.

Officials immediately closed the island’s main airport, located about 20 miles from Gamalama’s crater, when the mountain roared to life at about 11 p.m. local time on December 4.

The volcano has a history of eruptions going back to at least the early 1700s, when Ternate was home to European forts that supported the spice trade.

An eruption in 1840 destroyed most of the homes on the island. Gamalama's last major eruption was in 2003.

Photos: Top-File / Bottom-Antara