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Indonesia Mount Ruang Eruption Forces Evacuation of 12,000

Mount Ruang, situated in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province, unleashed a series of eruptions, compelling authorities to take swift action, evacuating over 12,000 individuals as a precautionary measure. This recent eruption follows a sequence of volcanic activities earlier this month, which not only displaced hundreds but also prompted the closure of Manado's airport, the provincial capital.

On Tuesday, Mount Ruang erupted with intensified vigor, spewing forth lava amid dramatic lightning flashes illuminating its crater. The escalation in volcanic activity prompted the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) to elevate the alert status, raising concerns of potential tsunamis resulting from the collapse of volcanic material into the ocean.

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PVMBG's warning, issued early Tuesday, remained in effect throughout the day, cautioning residents of Tagulandang island about the looming threat. As a precautionary measure, authorities evacuated all 843 residents residing on Ruang island, the vicinity of the volcano, relocating them to Manado. Additionally, residents of Tagulandang island were swiftly moved to Siau island to the north, ensuring their safety amidst the volcanic turmoil.

This eruption event follows a recent spate of volcanic unrest earlier this month, which not only displaced hundreds but also led to the closure of Manado's airport, causing disruption and damage to nearby homes. In response to the heightened volcanic activity, PVMBG issued warnings regarding potential tsunamis, underscoring the need for vigilance and preparedness among affected communities.

Dramatic footage captured by Indonesia's disaster agency depicted the awe-inspiring spectacle of lightning strikes above Mount Ruang's crater, accompanied by fiery eruptions hurling molten lava and rocks into the air, enveloping the island in a fiery haze. PVMBG reported an eruption column reaching a staggering height of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), urging residents within a 7-kilometer radius to evacuate immediately in anticipation of further explosive eruptions.

Mount Ruang's island location, approximately 100 kilometers from Manado, places it in the north-central region of the vast Indonesian archipelago. The eruption coincided with heightened seismic activity and deep volcanic earthquakes, amplifying concerns among authorities and residents alike.

In response to the eruption and the potential spread of volcanic ash, authorities swiftly closed Manado's Sam Ratulangi airport, extending the closure until noon the following day. This precautionary measure aims to ensure the safety and well-being of air travelers amidst the volcanic disturbances.

The escalation in Mount Ruang's volcanic activity underscores Indonesia's precarious position along the "Pacific Ring of Fire," a volatile zone characterized by high seismic activity and frequent volcanic eruptions, emphasizing the nation's ongoing struggle with natural disasters and the imperative of preparedness and resilience.

May 1, 2024 10:54 a.m. 4687

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