Indonesia evacuates hundreds as Mount Ruang volcano erupts

Jakarta, Apr. 17, (dpa/GNA) – Multiple eruptions of Indonesia’s Mount Ruang volcano has prompted the evacuation of more than 800 people from the region, the country’s volcanology agency said on Wednesday. 

The head of Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), Hendra Gunawan, said the 725-meter-high volcano first erupted on Tuesday evening and spewed a column of ash 2,000 metres into the sky. Two similar eruptions followed early on Wednesday.

“We have raised the alert status of Mount Ruang to level 3 or the second highest level,” Gunawan told dpa. 

“Authorities have evacuated 828 people from Ruang Island to neighbouring Tagulandang Island and declared fourteen days of emergency,” spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Abdul Muhari said. 

The eruptions at Mount Ruang, located in North Sulawesi province, were preceded by volcanic earthquakes in recent days.

The agency also detected deep and shallow volcanic earthquakes in Mount Awu on Sangihe Island.

Mount Awu’s alert status has also been raised to the second-highest level. 

“The occurrence of local tectonic earthquakes with large intensities can also trigger increased volcanic activity at Mount Awu. We have to anticipate the occurrence of earthquakes with large and continuous energy potential that can rupture lava domes and cause explosive eruptions,” Gunawan said. 

There are roughly 500 mountains that dot the Indonesian archipelago, of which 127 are active volcanoes and dozens of them have been showing signs of increased activity.   GNA