Indonesian Volcano Explodes, Tsunami Alert Raised

( – On April 17, Indonesian authorities ordered more than 11,000 people to evacuate from the northern side of the island of Sulawesi after a tsunami alert was issued following five eruptions at Mount Ruang.

According to Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation, in 24 hours, the volcano had more than five large eruptions, resulting in authorities raising their volcano alert to tier four, the highest level.

In a statement, the head of the geological agency, Muhammad Wafid, said the initial eruption on April 16 sent a column of ash 1.2 miles into the sky, while the second eruption sent it 1.5 miles into the sky.

Authorities warned tourists and residents on the island of Sulawesi to stay more than 3.7 miles away from the actively erupting volcano. Residents and tourists on the island of Tagulandang, located northeast of the volcano, were among those people being warned to evacuate as officials fear that parts of the volcano could collapse and cause a tsunami. In 1871, part of the volcano collapsed, causing a tsunami.

According to a statement from Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency, residents and tourists affected by the evacuation orders will be relocated to the nearest city on the island of Sulawesi, Manado. Though it is a six-hour boat ride away from the area being evacuated, Manado was still affected by the erupting volcano. On April 18, the international airport in Manado was closed for 24 hours because flight safety could be jeopardized by the “spread of volcanic ash,” according to Ambar Suryoko, head of the Manado region airport authority office.

Volcanic activity is common in Indonesia, where there are 120 active volcanoes, due to its location along a series of seismic fault lines in the Pacific Ocean known as the “Ring of Fire.” When Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano erupted in 2018, parts of the mountain fell into the ocean, resulting in a tsunami that affected the coasts of Sumatra and Java and killed 430 people.

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