Mount Ibu in the eastern Indonesian province of North Maluku spewed thick smoke up to 500 metres into the sky in the past few days.

The volcanic activity was still not dangerous so no local resident had evacuated, Indonesia's Antara news agency quoted Kali Rasyid, spokesman for the West Halmahera district administration, as saying on Friday.

"Earthquakes continue to occur at and around the volcano. On average there are 40 earthquakes per day," he said.

Mount Ibu is one of the five volcanoes in the province. It began showing signs of increased activity in mid March.

Despite the increased activity, the volcano was still put under the level of alert, he said.

There are six villages, with a total population of around 5,000, located on the volcano's slope.