HomePOPULARMount Ruang Volcano Erupts, Forces Hundreds to Evacuate

Mount Ruang Volcano Erupts, Forces Hundreds to Evacuate

Indonesia’s outermost region witnessed a series of eruptions from Mount Ruang on Wednesday, prompting authorities to elevate the alert level to its highest point. The volcano, located in North Sulawesi Province, unleashed multiple eruptions, with a towering column of smoke billowing more than a mile into the sky and compelling hundreds to evacuate.

Mount Ruang, a stratovolcano with a peak of 725 meters above sea level, began its activity at 9:45 pm on Tuesday and erupted four times throughout Wednesday, according to the country’s volcanology agency. Following the escalation in volcanic activity, the alert level for Mount Ruang was raised from Level 3 to Level 4 – the maximum level in the four-tiered system.

Hendra Gunawan, head of Indonesia’s volcanology agency, emphasized the need for caution, stating, “Based on the result of visual and instrumental observation that showed an increase in volcanic activity, Mount Ruang’s level was raised from Level 3 to Level 4.”

As a precautionary measure, authorities expanded the exclusion zone from four to six kilometers around the crater. While there were no reports of casualties, over 800 individuals were evacuated from two villages on Ruang Island to Tagulandang Island, situated over 100 kilometers north of the provincial capital Manado.

Gunawan urged residents to remain vigilant against potential hazards such as rock ejections, hot cloud discharges, and tsunamis triggered by volcanic collapse into the sea.

The initial eruption on Tuesday propelled an ash column two kilometers into the sky, followed by subsequent eruptions reaching heights of 2.5 kilometers, according to Muhammad Wafid, head of the geological agency.

Mount Ruang’s heightened activity comes after recent seismic events, with the volcanology agency noting increased volcanic activity following two earthquakes in recent weeks.

Indonesia, positioned on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” witnesses frequent seismic and volcanic occurrences due to its location where tectonic plates intersect, spanning from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

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