Thousands evacuated in Indonesia due to the eruption of a volcano that triggered a tsunami warning

Thousands evacuated in Indonesia due to the eruption of a volcano that triggered a tsunami warning

April 18, 2024, 12:59 PM

April 18, 2024, 12:59 PM

Rescuers rush this Thursday to evacuate thousands of people through the volcano eruption in a remote area of ​​Indonesia which forced the authorities to issue a tsunami warning due to the risk of rocks falling into the sea.

The crater of Mount Ruang, in northern Indonesiabegan expelling lava and ash on Tuesday night and the volcanic activity recorded on Wednesday forced the authorities to raise the alert level to the maximum.

The volcano continued to be active this Thursday and the Sam Ratulangi International Airport, in the city of Manado, 100 km from the site, had to close “because the spread of volcanic ash could endanger the safety of flights,” reported in Ambar Suryoko, head of the regional airport authority, said in a statement.

Authorities are rushing to evacuate 11,000 inhabitants from the area near the volcanoincluding some from the remote island of Tagulandang, population about 20,000.

“The road is covered with volcanic matter,” Ikram Al Ulah, a rescuer, told AFP by phone from the port of Tagulandang.

Some residents began leaving the area on their own overnight for fear of the eruption.

“Last night (Wednesday) there were people who evacuated on their own but without an order due to the eruption of the volcano and the falling stones,” said Jandry Paendong of the local search and rescue agency in a statement.

Rescuers try to evacuate residents of the area in boats and they also had to transfer 17 prisoners from the Tagulandang Island prison.

Military loads items onto a boat to take to the volcano area / AFP

Tsunami warning

Authorities imposed an exclusion around the six-kilometer crater and warned about the risk of a tsunami due to the fall of volcanic material into the sea.

“The community of Tagulandang Island, particularly those residing near the beach, must remain alert to the possible ejection of incandescent rocks (…) and tsunamis caused by the fall of material from the volcano into the sea,” he declared. on Wednesday in a statement Hendra Gunawan, director of the Volcanology Agency of Indonesia.

In 2018, the crater of Indonesia’s Anak Krakatoa volcano collapsed into the sea during an eruption, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 400 people and injured thousands.

Mount Ruang, a stratovolcano located on a small island in North Sulawesi Provincean isolated area of ​​the archipelago, erupted at 9:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday and had two other eruptions in the early hours of Wednesday, volcanology and geology agencies reported.

The first eruption formed a two-kilometer column of ash and then the volcano propelled materials that rose up to 2.5 kilometers, Muhamad Wafid, director of the geology agency, said in a statement.

The volcanology agency had warned the day before that the activity of Mount Ruang increased after two earthquakes recorded in recent weeks.

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