Column of ash from Mount Soputan in Indonesia's Sulawesi island (Source: sciencealert.com)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – Mount Soputan in Sulawesi island of Indonesia emitted column of ash on October 3 morning while local people are struggling to overcome consequences of the recent earthquakes and tsunami.

The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) said the 1,809-metre high volcano in North Sulawesi province erupted at 8:47 am local time, spewing ash column of 4,000 metres.

Spokesman of the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said volcanic ash may fall in the north western region of the volcano. 

Local authorities have distributed masks and ordered residents to refrain from entering the area within a 4- to 6.5-kilometre radius around Mount Soputan.

Residents of riverbank settlements near the mountain were also warned of the potential for lava flows following rain.

There has been no report on casualties and damage after the eruption.

North Sulawesi borders Central Sulawesi province, which was recently hit by two earthquakes and tsunami. Death toll from the disasters rose to nearly 1,400. 

Rescuers led by the Indonesian armed forces have raced against time to search for missing people under wreckage of buildings. Meanwhile, aid for survivors has become urgent as traffic roads had been severely damaged, causing difficult access to affected areas.

The Australian Government announced a humanitarian aid package worth 5 million AUD (over 3.5 million USD) and sent a medical team of more than 50 people to support Indonesia.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia would be working very closely with Indonesia to make sure support is highly targeted.

Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province was ravaged by two quakes measuring 6.1 and 7.5 on the Richter scale on September 28. A 6m tsunami hit the shores after the second quake struck the area in the afternoon of the same day, which destroyed thousands of houses and constructions. As many as 48,000 people have been evacuated.

Indonesia is prone to quake as it sits on a vulnerable quake-affected area called the Pacific Ring of Fire. –VNA