Indonesia's Ruang Volcano Erupts, Prompting Evacuations and Airport Closure

Indonesia's Ruang Volcano Erupts, Prompting Evacuations and Airport Closure

Jakarta - Indonesia has taken swift action in response to the eruptive activity of the Ruang volcano, which has emitted explosive plumes of lava, rocks, and ash for several days. Authorities declared the highest alert level and evacuated hundreds of people from the vicinity of the volcano, leading to the closure of a provincial airport.

The dramatic eruption on Wednesday, located on a remote island in North Sulawesi province, sent a fiery-red column of lava and ash soaring up to three kilometers (two miles) into the sky. Social media videos captured the spectacle, including purple flashes of lightning illuminating the erupting volcano.

Witnesses described scenes of urgency as they scrambled to evacuate amidst the advancing ash. More than 800 individuals were relocated from the area, prompting authorities to expand the evacuation zone as volcanic activity intensified.

The volcanology agency issued warnings of potential further eruptions, citing a rapid escalation in volcanic activity. Reports indicated damage to homes from falling rocks and ash, with a nearby hospital also forced to evacuate.

In response to the safety threat posed by ash showers, transport authorities closed the airport in Manado, the provincial capital. Air Asia suspended flights to nine airports in East Malaysia and Brunei following aviation authorities' advisories.

Officials have established a six-kilometer (four-mile) exclusion zone around the volcano and are evacuating additional residents, including those from the neighboring island of Tagulandang. Approximately 1,500 individuals in high-risk areas require immediate evacuation, with nearly 12,000 others potentially affected.

Concerns have been raised about the possibility of a tsunami if parts of the mountain collapse into the ocean. Historical records indicate a devastating tsunami triggered by a previous eruption of the volcano in 1871, resulting in approximately 400 fatalities.

Indonesia, being part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, experiences frequent volcanic activity.

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