Home Indonesians forced to evacuate as Mount Ruang erupts

Indonesians forced to evacuate as Mount Ruang erupts

indonesians forced to evacuate as mount ruang erupts

On Thursday, Indonesian officials closed an airport and evacuated residents near an erupting Mount Ruang volcano due to ash, falling rocks, hot volcanic clouds, and a tsunami.

Mount Ruang on the northern side of Sulawesi Island had at least five significant eruptions Wednesday, causing the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation to issue its highest-level alert, indicating an active eruption.

The crater emitted white-gray smoke continuously on Thursday, reaching more than 500 meters (1,600 feet) above the peak.

People have been ordered to stay at least 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the 725-meter (2,378-foot) mountain. 

Over 11,000 people live in the affected area and were told to leave. At least 800 have done so.

An international airport in Manado City was temporarily closed Thursday as volcanic ash was spewed into the air.

“We have to close flight operations at Sam Ratulangi Airport due to the spread of volcanic ash, which could endanger flight safety,” said Ambar Suryoko, head of the regional airport authority.

Eruptions Wednesday evening spewed volcanic ash approximately 70,000 feet into the atmosphere, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre. The bureau said in a statement Thursday it was tracking and forecasting the ash dispersion.

According to Indonesia’s volcanology center, the volcano could collapse into the sea and produce a tsunami. 

Around 3/4 of Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano island fell in December 2018, causing a massive tsunami that killed over 400 people.

“People who live in the Tagulandang Island area and are within a 6-kilometer radius must be immediately evacuated to a safe place outside the 6-kilometer radius,” Abdul Muhari, spokesperson of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said Thursday.

“And especially those who live near the coast should be aware of the potential for incandescent rocks to erupt, hot clouds, and tsunami waves that could be triggered by the collapse of a volcanic body into the sea,” he added.

The agency said residents will be relocated to Manado, the nearest city, on Sulawesi island — a six-hour journey by boat.


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