Mount Ruang is a mountain located on the island of Tagulandang, North Sulawesi. Mount Ruang is one of the special mountains because it is one of the volcanoes in North Sulawesi, and its status is still active.

Indonesia warns of potential tsunami after Ruang volcano eruptions

Indonesia has warned Thursday of a potential tsunami affecting the central region of the Asian archipelago in the wake of the continuing eruptions of the Ruang volcano in the Celebes Islands, as it continues evacuation efforts for 1,600 people.

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“Residents of Tagulandand Island, especially those living near the coast, should be cautious of the potential ejection of incandescent rocks, smoke plumes and a tsunami caused by the collapse of parts of the volcano into the sea,” Indonesia’s Department of Volcanology said in a statement posted on its website.

Authorities are seeking to prevent a scenario similar to that caused by the eruption of the Anak Krakatoa volcano, located in the Sonda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra, which on December 22, 2018 caused a landslide that in turn generated a tsunami that left at least 426 people dead.

The Ruang volcano, with 725 meters high and located on a small island of the same name with about 5 kilometers wide, has registered in recent days a great activity, including four strong eruptions occurred in the early hours of Thursday.

Emergency teams have evacuated at least 1,600 people, including the entire population of the island-volcano and some residents on the coast of the neighboring island of Tagulandang, with about 22,000 inhabitants and about 4 kilometers north of the crater of Ruang.

“People living in the Tagulandang Island area and within 6 kilometers of the volcano crater should be evacuated immediately to a safe place,” the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency said in a statement.

The volcanology agency on Wednesday night raised the volcano’s alert to the highest level of IV after Ruang spewed ash clouds up to 3,000 meters high and triggered small earthquakes.

For its part, the Japan Meteorological Agency is studying whether a potential tsunami could hit the west coast of the country, almost 4,000 kilometers away from the volcano, while noting that it has not observed “significant changes in the tide level” after last night’s eruptions.

The Australian Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin said in its latest statement that the material expelled by the Ruang can reach 16,700 meters high.

The ash ejection has forced the closure of the international airport in the city of Manado, capital of North Sulawesi province and about 70 kilometers southwest of the volcano, affecting at least a dozen flights, mostly domestic.

“All inbound and outbound flights have been canceled until 23:59 (local time, 15:59 GMT),” a spokesman for Sam Ratulangi airport, which operates international flights to Singapore and the Philippine city of Davao, said by phone.

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Indonesia is home to more than 400 volcanoes, of which at least 129 are still active and 65 are classified as dangerous, and is located within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken by some 7,000 earthquakes a year, most of which are of low magnitude.

-Thailand News (TN)

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