KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (KUNA) -- Indonesia has raised the alert level on Mount Talang, Sumatra Island, after increase in rising columns of smoke and tremors in the area.

The Indonesian news agency ANTARA quoted Dalifa Marjusi, a vulcanologist from the local vulcanology office, as saying the status of volcano activity was raised at 7:00 pm on Monday.

The risk of an eruption was brought up from three to four degrees. The smoke reached up to 800 meters (2.672 feet) high, he added.

Solok district authorities immediately noticed the rise of smoke columns from the volcano and held an extraordinary meeting late Sunday to prepare emergency reaction plans.

Antara quoted a Solok district official as saying nearly 41.000 people will be evacuated from the slopes of the mountain should an eruption prove imminent.

"There is yet no plan to evacuate them, but we are now preparing in case the alert status is raised," the official said.

In April 2005, more than 25.000 people were evacuated from the slopes of Mount Talang after tremors and volcanic ash fall were reported in the area.

Indonesia sits on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", where continental plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activity.(end) asf.