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30 January 2004 – Mount Egon, IndonesiaThousands of people are stranded around Mount Egon on Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara since the volcano began showing signs of activity yesterday, a local government official said today. Sikka district official Dominikus Pariera said more than a thousand people have been unable to flee the volcano due to transportation difficulties. “Some 500 people were evacuated yesterday night but the evacuation was halted because the roads leading to the volcano made driving conditions treacherous,” he said. Pariera said Mount Egon had been spewing ashes and fire balls into the air since yesterday, and its heightened activity early today had caused panic among nearby villages.
1 February 2004 – More than 5,000 people have been evacuated and some 800 others are expected to follow four days after an Indonesian volcano began to spew thick smoke, an official said today. “We are now sheltering some 5,200 people as of this morning and hundreds more are still expected to arrive,” said Dominikus Pareira, secretary of the Sikka district in the Eastern island of Flores. Speaking from the district capital of Maumere, he said the refugees had been evacuated from the slopes of the 1,703-metre Egon volcano, some 25 kilometres east, which had begun to smoke Thursday morning.