A few days after the disastrous tsunami and earthquake, not the Indonesian island of Sulawesi is hit by volcanic eruption.
On Wednesday, the volcanic eruption on the Soputan mountain north of Sulawesi spilled ash 6000 meters into the air. The eruption is believed to affect the air traffic. Aircraft are warned that the ashes could hit the airplane’s engine.
Indonesia has over 120 active volcanoes. The country is also very vulnerable to earthquake and, according to an Indonesian expert, the volcano has been triggered by the earthquake, which also caused a multi-meter high tsunami wave to land inland and contributed to even greater destruction.
A zone of up to 6.5 kilometers around the mountain has been established, and people are advised to stay away. After the eruptions, no evacuation as such has been reported.
The warnings are coming at the same time as 200,000 people on the island need immediate relief as a result of Friday’s earthquake a few miles further south. The UN has expressed great frustration over the late emergency response. The urgency and needs are enormous, according to the organization.
Meanwhile, the time begins to run out for people who have been lying under collapsed buildings. Rescue workers now have very little hope of finding more survivors. Among other things, it is believed that there are still around 60 people buried under a collapsed hotel in the coastal city of Palu.
Indonesia’s Emergency Directorate announced on Wednesday that over 1,400 people have been confirmed dead. Many are still missing.