Home Asean News Indonesia Volcano Eruption: Tsunami Warning Issued; Thousands Evacuated

Indonesia Volcano Eruption: Tsunami Warning Issued; Thousands Evacuated

A tsunami warning has been issued after the Ruang mountain saw at least five big volcanic eruptions over 24 hours. Residents staying near the Ruang mountain in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island were evacuated as the mountain spewed ash and lava, some recorded as high as 1.5 km.

Indonesian authorities have increased the volcano alert to the highest level. More than 11,000 people have been evacuated. Tourists have been told to stay at least 6 km away from the Ruang mountain.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said residents will be relocated to the nearest city, which is Manado on the Sulawesi island. That’s a 6-hour journey by boat.

The Sam Ratulangi airport at Manado, which is 100 km from Ruang mountain, has been shut till Thursday evening. It’s a precautionary measure as the volcanic ash could pose a danger to flights.

Mount Ruang is in the North Sulawesi Province, and is prone to regular volcanic activity. It first erupted at 9:45 pm local time on Tuesday, and then four times throughout Wednesday – April 17.

A statement by Indonesia’s volcano agency warned the locals to “be on alert for the potential ejection of rocks, hot cloud discharges and tsunami caused by the collapse of the volcano’s body into the sea.”

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Officials worry that part of the volcano could collapse into the sea and cause a tsunami as in a 1871 eruption there. Tagulandang island to the volcano’s northeast is again at risk, and its residents are among those being told to evacuate.

In 2018, the eruption of Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano caused a tsunami along the coasts of Sumatra and Java after parts of the mountain fell into the ocean, killing 430 people.

Volcanic activity increased in Ruang due to two recent earthquakes causing instability in the tectonic plates, as per the agency.

Indonesia has 120 active volcanoes and it is prone to volcanic eruptions as it sits along the ‘Ring of Fire’ a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.

(with inputs from Reuters)