Hundreds of residents evacuated after volcanic eruption

More than 800 people were evacuated from two villages on Ruang Island to a neighboring island, but no deaths or injuries were reported.


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A photo of the erupting volcano on Mount Ruang, Indonesia, April 17, 2024. (CENTER FOR VOLCANOLOGY AND GEOLO / AFP)

The alert level is at maximum. A volcano erupted in northern Indonesia on the night of Tuesday April 16 to Wednesday April 17. No deaths or injuries were reported, but more than 800 people were evacuated from two villages on the island of Ruang, where the volcano is located, northeast of Sulawesi, which rises to 725 meters. They were transported to a nearby island, Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported.

The volcanology agency said Tagulandang residents had to be evacuated outside a six-kilometer radius by Wednesday evening. “Based on visual and instrumental observations which showed an increase in volcanic activity, the (alert) level of Mount Ruang was raised from level 3 to level 4”declared Hendra Gunawan, director of the Indonesian volcanology agency, in a press release published late Wednesday.

“Hot cloud discharges”

Hendra Gunawan also warned local residents to be “on alert for potential ejection of rock fragments, hot cloud discharges and tsunami caused by the collapse of the volcano body into the sea.” Authorities expanded the exclusion zone from four kilometers to six kilometers on Wednesday evening around the crater.

The volcano had a first eruption at 9:45 p.m. local time on Tuesday, or 3:45 p.m. Paris time, then twice on Wednesday in the early morning, according to the country’s volcanology and geology agencies. The first eruption projected a column of ash up to two kilometers into the sky, and the second 2.5 kilometers, the director of the national geology agency said in a statement. According to the volcanology agency, the activity of the Ruang volcano has increased after two earthquakes in recent weeks.

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