Indonesia Volcano Eruption Forces Evacuations, Leads To Airport Closure in North Sulawesi

The eruption reached a critical point on Wednesday when it expelled a fiery-red column of lava and ash up to three kilometres into the sky. In response, more than 800 residents were initially evacuated from the surrounding area.
Indonesia Volcano Eruption

Ruang volcano Eruption Leads To Airport Closure

Photo : Twitter
Jakarta: Indonesia's Ruang volcano erupted on Wednesday leading to evacuations of hundreds of people and the closure of a provincial airport, officials said on Thursday. The volcano, situated on a remote island in North Sulawesi, began spewing large amounts of lava, rocks, and ash earlier this week, necessitating an urgent response from local officials.
In the provincial capital of Manado, the airport was shut down to protect against ash fall, impacting flights and local transportation. The disruption extended to AirAsia, which cancelled several flights across East Malaysia and Brunei due to the eruption's ash posing a safety threat.
The eruption reached a critical point on Wednesday when it expelled a fiery-red column of lava and ash up to three kilometres into the sky. Videos on social media captured purple flashes of lightning above the volcano. One local resident captured video of the eruption, saying, "We're running, guys," as they fled the ash cloud.
In response, more than 800 residents were initially evacuated from the surrounding area. This number increased significantly after the volcanology agency upgraded the situation to the highest alert level. "The potential for further eruption is still high, so we need to remain alert," said Heruningtyas Desi Purnamasari, an official at the agency.
Falling rocks and ash have reportedly damaged homes and even forced the evacuation of a nearby hospital.
The disaster mitigation agency has since expanded the evacuation zone to a six-kilometre radius around the volcano. Abdul Muhari, the agency's spokesperson, said that efforts are underway to evacuate residents from high-risk areas, including some from the neighbouring island of Tagulandang. Approximately 1,500 people in these high-risk zones need urgent evacuation, with nearly 12,000 others potentially affected.
Authorities are also monitoring the risk of a tsunami, a tragic reminder of the 1871 eruption of the same volcano, which resulted in about 400 deaths due to a tsunami triggered by a mountain collapse.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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