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Ruang Volcano Re-erupts, Cancels Flights and Closes Airports

Yulian Ardiansyah - : May 1, 2024 - : 8:05 pm

Indonesia’s Ruang volcano erupted again on Tuesday (Apr. 30), leading to the cancellation of flights and closure of airports in the affected areas. Situated in the Sitaro Islands District of North Sulawesi province, the eruption not only disrupted flights within Indonesia but also in Eastern Malaysia due to the spread of volcanic ash.

As of 1st May, Air Asia has issued a public announcement confirming the cancellation of flights between Kuala Lumpur in the Malay Peninsula and Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, and Johor Bahru in East Malaysia. The airline’s flights between Singapore and Kuching have also been suspended due to the eruption.

In Indonesia, at least 65 flights have been canceled, affecting 7,039 passengers. Nine aircraft have also been grounded due to exposure to volcanic ash. Additionally, numerous airports in the region have ceased flight operations, including Sam Ratulangi Airport, Melonguane Airport, Naha Airport, Siau Airport, Bolaang Mongondow Airport, Miangas Airport, and Pohuwato Airport.

According to Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), as relayed by the Indonesian news agency, Antara, since the initial phase of Ruang volcano eruption on April 17th, at least 3,614 houses, two churches, and school buildings in the District have sustained damage from the eruption materials and shocks.

BNPB has confirmed that approximately 12,000 residents in affected areas are being evacuated to seven emergency posts established to accommodate them. Ships from the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL), and National Police (Polri) have been mobilised to assist in the evacuation efforts.

Photo: Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG).

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