Mount Ibu Volcano Erupts in Indonesia, Spewing Ash 5,000 Meters High

Mount Ibu volcano in Indonesia's North Maluku province erupted on May 13, spewing a 5,000-meter ash column into the air. Authorities have prohibited activities within a 5km radius and are closely monitoring the situation, preparing for potential evacuations.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Mount Ibu Volcano Erupts in Indonesia, Spewing Ash 5,000 Meters High

Mount Ibu Volcano Erupts in Indonesia, Spewing Ash 5,000 Meters High

On Monday, May 13, 2024, Mount Ibu volcano in Indonesia's North Maluku province erupted, spewing a column of volcanic ash approximately 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) into the air. The eruption, which lasted for about five minutes, occurred at 9:12 a.m. (0012 GMT) and was accompanied by a booming noise.

Why this matters: The eruption of Mount Ibu volcano highlights the ongoing threat of natural disasters in Indonesia, which is prone to volcanic activity due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire". The potential for future eruptions underscores the need for continued vigilance and preparedness in the region, particularly for communities living in close proximity to active volcanoes.

The alert status of the volcano remains at the second-highest level, according to Hendra Gunawan, head of Indonesia's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre. As a precautionary measure, all activities within a article five-kilometer radius of the volcano have been prohibited. "If it starts to rain ash, we recommend people who are near the volcano to wear a mask and glasses," Gunawan warned.

No evacuation of residents has been reported so far, but authorities, prepare, thousands are closely monitoring the situation. The eruption poses a threat to the surrounding area, with 13,000 people living within a 5km radius of the volcano. Local authorities have prepared evacuation tents in case an evacuation order becomes necessary.

This eruption comes after a smaller eruption on May 10 and amid warnings of potential future eruptions. "The volcanic earthquakes are still intense so there is a potential for a future eruption," Gunawan stated. Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," has 127 active volcanoes, making it prone to volcanic activity.

Mount Ibu is a 1,325-meter (4,347-foot) volcano located on the northwest coast of the remote island of Halmahera. In recent weeks, other volcanoes in the region have also erupted, including North Sulawesi's Ruang volcano, which prompted the evacuation of over 12,000 people. In December, an eruption of Marapi volcano in Sumatra resulted in the deaths of more than 20 people.

The Mount Ibu eruption serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present danger posed by Indonesia's numerous active volcanoes. As continue to monitor the situation closely, residents in the affected area remain on high alert, prepared to evacuate if necessary. The potential for future eruptions looms, underscoring the importance of vigilance and preparedness in this volcanically active region.