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Indonesia's Ruang volcano erupts again, closing airport

April 30, 2024

Indonesian authorities raised the alert level to the highest following the eruption and urged residents to not go near it.

A large white cloud after a volcanic eruption of Mount Ruang volcano on April 30, 2024.
Hot lava blasts have damaged several buildings in the vicinity of Mount RuangImage: AFP/Getty Images

The Mount Ruang volcano, in ther North Sulawesi province in Indonesia, erupted on Tuesday according to local authorities. 

According to the Indonesian disaster mitigation agency, the volcano's eruption column has reached 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) high, while adding that further "explosive eruptions" are possible.

A picture of Mount Ruang volcano spewing volcanic ash, Indonesia, April 19, 2024.
The Mount Ruang volcano is one of the most active in Indonesia Image: Chermanto Tjaombah/REUTERS

Officials have shut down the nearest airport, Sam Ratulangi in Manado, 100 kilometers from the island of Ruang to shield flights from dangerous volcanic ash. The transport ministry said the airport would be closed until Wednesday afternoon.

The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) has declared a maximum state of alert.

Indonesia volcano eruption forces evacuations

People are urged to evacuate immediately and wear masks

Locals are urged to stay away from the volcano. Everyone living within a 6-kilometer radius was ordered to evacuate immediately and to wear masks to protect themselves from the ash.

This is far from the first dangerous seismic activity in the country this year, since Indonesia is located between the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire,"a zone of high seismic activity. This most recent eruption followed an increase in volcanic activity that began in the middle of April.

Three people are looking at the previous eruption of Mount Ruang volcano on April 19, 2024.
Local residents within a 6-kilometer radius are asked to evacuate and wear masks to protect themselves from the ash.Image: Ronny Adolof Buol/AFP/Getty Images

About 800 people live on the island, some of whom were evacuated after the recent eruptions in April. The Ruang volcano with a height of 725 meters (2,400 feet) is one of the most active in Indonesia.

ac/wd (Reuters, dpa)