Indonesia’s Volcano Eruptions Trigger Tsunami Alert, Prompting Thousands to Evacuate

Indonesian authorities issued a tsunami alert on Wednesday following several significant eruptions at Mount Ruang, sending ash plumes soaring thousands of feet into the air. In response, officials mandated the evacuation of over 11,000 individuals from the surrounding area.

Located on the northern side of Sulawesi Island, Mount Ruang has experienced at least five major eruptions within the past 24 hours, as reported by Indonesia’s Centre for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation. Consequently, authorities raised the volcano alert level to its highest status.

Earlier on Wednesday, approximately 800 residents had already departed the vicinity. Indonesia, home to 120 active volcanoes, is susceptible to volcanic activity due to its position along the “Ring of Fire,” a belt of seismic fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean.

Authorities have urged tourists and locals alike to maintain a distance of at least 6 km (3.7 miles) from the 725-meter (2,378-foot) Mount Ruang. Concerns linger over the potential collapse of part of the volcano into the sea, which could trigger a tsunami akin to the eruption’s impact in 1871.

Tagulandang island, situated northeast of the volcano, faces renewed peril, prompting the evacuation of its residents. Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency has initiated plans to relocate affected individuals to Manado, the nearest city on Sulawesi Island, a journey that spans six hours by boat.

The eruption of Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano in 2018 serves as a grim reminder of the destructive potential of such events. Following the collapse of portions of the mountain into the ocean, a tsunami struck the coasts of Sumatra and Java, claiming the lives of 430 people.

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