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Tuesday May 21, 2024

Mt Ruang volcano eruptions prompt evacuation of thousands in Indonesia

Indonesia raises tsunami alert to highest level on scale after multiple volcano eruptions

By Web Desk
April 18, 2024
Indonesias Mount Ruang volcano erupts several times in past two days. — X/@anthraxxx781
Indonesia's Mount Ruang volcano erupts several times in past two days. — X/@anthraxxx781

Over the past two days, several eruptions have occurred at Mount Ruang, a volcano located in North Sulawesi province in Indonesia, prompting fears of a tsunami from potential collapse of the volcano.

This has led to the evacuation of more than 11,000 people from the area on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported.

The first eruption occurred on Tuesday at 9:45pm, followed by four more eruptions on Wednesday. As a result, the volcanology agency raised the alert level to four, which is the highest on the scale.

The agency also expanded the exclusion zone around the crater from four to six kilometres.

Initially, over 800 people were evacuated from Ruang to Tagulandang Island, which is located over 100 kilometres north of Manado. However, officials announced on Thursday morning that due to the expanding danger zone, more people would need to be evacuated and taken to Manado.

Runag volcano erupts in Indonesia after 22 years of silence. — X/@DikySitepu

According to the Kompas newspaper, the head of the disaster agency's disaster data, communications and information centre Abdul Muhari, said: "At least 11,615 residents who are in the risk area must evacuate to a safe place."

Authorities have raised concerns that parts of the volcano may collapse into the sea resulting in a tsunami like it did in a previous eruption in 1871.

Muhammad Wafid, the head of Indonesia's geological agency, earlier said Ruang's initial eruption sent an ash column two kilometres into the sky, with the second eruption pushing it to 2.5 kilometres.

The volcanology agency said volcanic activity had increased at Ruang after two earthquakes in recent weeks. The same volcano last erupted nearly 22 years ago in 2002.

Indonesia, located along the "Ring of Fire" tectonic fault lines, has 120 active volcanoes.

In 2018, Anak Krakatoa volcano's eruption triggered a tsunami along the coasts of Sumatra and Java after parts of the mountain fell into the ocean resulting in hundreds of deaths.