Home International Indonesia’s Ruang volcano erupts again, alert status at highest

Indonesia’s Ruang volcano erupts again, alert status at highest

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Indonesia’s Ruang volcano spewed “explosive” flows of incandescent lava into the night sky on Tuesday as lightning flashes dramatically lit up its crater, prompting authorities to raise the alert status and close a nearby airport.

Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash as seen from Tagulandang in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. Picture: Reuters, Chermanto Tjaombah

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s Ruang volcano spewed “explosive” flows of incandescent lava into the night sky on Tuesday as lightning flashes dramatically lit up its crater, prompting authorities to raise the alert status and close a nearby airport.

The country’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) raised the alert status to the highest level following the early morning eruption, urging residents not to go near the volcano, according to its website.

Footage shared by Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency showed strikes of lightning flashing above Ruang’s crater, as fiery red clouds of lava and rocks were projected into the air and rained down around the island.

The agency said the eruption column reached 2km (1.24 miles) high, and has urged residents within a 6km radius to immediately evacuate, warning of possible further “explosive eruptions”.

The eruption corresponded with a spike in seismic activity around the volcano, the disaster agency said, especially in the number of deep volcanic earthquakes.

Tuesday’s eruption follows a series of eruptions earlier this month that forced hundreds to evacuate, and the airport in the provincial capital of Manado to close. That eruption also caused damage to some homes.

Authorities closed Manado’s Sam Ratulangi airport again on Tuesday, citing the possible spread of volcanic ash, the airport operator said in an Instagram post. The airport will remain closed until noon on Wednesday, the transport ministry said.

The island of Ruang, which is about 100 km from Manado, is home to more than 800 residents, most of whom were evacuated following the recent eruptions.

Authorities downgraded the status level to level 3 last week before bumping it up again to level 4 on Tuesday.

Indonesia straddles the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area of high seismic activity where multiple tectonic plates meet.

– REUTERS

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