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Airport closures and evacuations due to an eruption of an Indonesian volcano

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In response to the eruption of the Ruang volcano in North Sulawesi, Indonesia moved quickly. Because of the volcano’s prolonged explosive lava, rock, and ash plumes, authorities on Thursday raised the alert level to the maximum level.

The eruption on Wednesday was especially spectacular, shooting up to three kilometers (two miles) of ash, glowing rock, and a blazing red column of lava into the sky. The sight was enhanced by social media videos that showed purple lightning bolts lighting up the erupting volcano.

Following a heightened notice from the volcanology service, officials expanded the evacuation zone, evacuating around 800 people from the volcano’s proximity. A nearby hospital had to be evacuated due to falling rocks and ash, which also damaged residences.

Transport authorities have closed the airport in Manado, the regional capital, in order to reduce the risks associated with air travel. Due to safety concerns raised by the eruption, low-cost carrier Air Asia has suspended flights to nine airports in East Malaysia and Brunei.

A six-kilometer (four-mile) radius has been blocked off by the disaster mitigation agency, and more residents—including those from the nearby island of Tagulandang—are currently being evacuated. About 1,500 people in high-risk locations are being evacuated right away, and another 12,000 people could be impacted.

In addition, officials have issued a tsunami warning in the event that portions of the mountain fall into the sea. Records from the past indicate a disastrous tsunami that killed over 400 people in 1871 as a result of an earlier volcanic eruption.

Authorities stress the continuous threat posed by the volcanic activity and call for residents in the affected districts to be vigilant and prepared as the situation develops.

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