Indonesia’s Mount Ruang eruption disrupts airspace, airport closure extended

JAKARTA, April 19 (Bernama) — The eruption of Mount Ruang in North Sulawesi continues to disrupt airspace today, impacting flight safety and security, according to Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

The eruption, which began on Tuesday, led to the temporary closure of operations at Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado on Thursday, about 95 kilometres from Mount Ruang.

BNPB spokesperson Abdul Muhari said the airport closure has been extended until today, from 6 am to 7 pm local time, as volcanic ash was observed as far as North Minahasa district.

As of Thursday at 11 pm, Tagulandang Port is operational for evacuation efforts and aid distribution to affected communities at relocation centres located 15 kilometres from Mount Ruang.

Local authorities have evacuated 272 families or 838 individuals from Laingpatehi Village and Pumpente Village on Tagulandang Island, he said in a statement.

Abdul Muhari pointed out that evacuation efforts continue for communities on the island and those within a six-kilometre radius from the volcano’s active crater centre.

Immediate relocation is encouraged to prepare for potential volcanic rock projectiles, pyroclastic flows, and tsunamis, resulting from the collapse of volcanic material into the sea.

“Mount Ruang remains visible today, although partially obscured by mist. The main crater emits white smoke with moderate to thick intensity of up to 100 metres from the mountain peak,” Abdul Muhari added.