Volcano Eruption in Indonesia Triggers Evacuation of Thousands

Mount Ruang, a remote Indonesian volcano, erupts violently, prompting evacuations and airport closure amid tsunami fears. Authorities coordinate rescue efforts as the eruption threatens nearby communities.

Nitish Verma
New Update
Volcano Eruption in Indonesia Triggers Evacuation of Thousands

Volcano Eruption in Indonesia Triggers Evacuation of Thousands

Mount Ruang, a remote island volcano located off the northern coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, has erupted multiple times since Tuesday night, prompting authorities to issue the highest-level alert and order the evacuation of over 11,000 people living within a 6-kilometer radius of the 725-meter mountain. The powerful eruptions have sent volcanic ash up to 70,000 feet into the atmosphere and spewed fiery lava and rocks, raising concerns about the possibility of a tsunami if part of the volcano collapses into the sea.

Indonesian authorities have closed the nearby airport in Manado city and warned of the dangers posed by the spreading ash, falling rocks, and hot volcanic clouds. Residents of Tagulandang Island to the east of the Ruang volcano have also been told to evacuate, as they could be at risk if a collapse similar to the one that occurred during the volcano's 1871 eruption were to happen. So far, at least 800 people have been evacuated from two villages on Ruang Island to neighboring Tagulandang Island.

The evacuation efforts are being coordinated by Indonesia's national disaster mitigation agency, with residents being relocated to the nearest city, Manado, on Sulawesi island. Local fishermen have played a crucial role in transporting people to safety, using their knowledge of the sea and terrain to navigate the challenges posed by damaged infrastructure. Rescuers and authorities are working tirelessly to ensure the safety of affected communities and provide necessary support.

Why this matters: Indonesia, located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, with over 120 active volcanoes. The eruption of Mount Ruang highlights the ongoing risks faced by communities living in close proximity to these natural hazards and the importance of effective disaster preparedness and response measures.

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation has warned that the eruption of Mount Ruang has a history of being explosive and triggering tsunamis, posing a significant threat to nearby communities. "The eruption of Mount Ruang has the potential to cause a tsunami, especially on the west coast of Tagulandang Island," said the head of the agency, Andiani Putri. Authorities are closely monitoring the situation and have urged residents to remain vigilant and follow evacuation orders to ensure their safety.

Key Takeaways

  • Mount Ruang, an Indonesian volcano, has erupted multiple times since Tuesday.
  • Over 11,000 people living within 6 km of the volcano have been evacuated.
  • The eruption has sent ash up to 70,000 feet and spewed lava, raising tsunami concerns.
  • The nearby airport has been closed, and residents of Tagulandang Island have been told to evacuate.
  • Indonesia is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire and faces ongoing volcanic risks.