Evacuations for 11,000 people as Ruang Volcano eruptions continue

Hundreds of people in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province were evacuated Wednesday after multiple eruptions of the Ruang volcano. Most of the island's 800 residents were evacuated to nearby Tagulandang Island amid fears it could trigger a tsunami, Reuters reported.

On Thursday, a local emergency official said that the evacuation zone had widened to include more than 11,000 people.

In this photo released by Sitaro Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD Sitaro), hot molten lava glows at the crater of Mount Ruang as it erupts in Sanguine Islands, Indonesia, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Indonesian authorities issued a tsunami alert Wednesday after eruptions at Ruang mountain sent ash thousands of feet high. Officials ordered more than 11,000 people to leave the area. (BPBD Sitaro via AP)

According to the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation, over 1,000 earthquakes occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the volcano spewed lava and ash clouds into the sky in smaller eruptions.

Spectacular videos of volcanic lightning and cloud explosions on weather satellite maps have surfaced, including a video showing volcanic lightning, which is more frequent and fleeting than lightning strikes occurring in a thunderstorm.

Volcanic lightning is not well understood, but it can be spectacular. As of Wednesday morning, more than 4,000 lightning strikes had been detected around Ruang.

The eruption was captured by Japan's Himawari weather satellite, showing an explosion in infrared temperatures and a loop showing ash and sulfur dioxide emanating from the eruption. The last eruption of Mount Rauang was in September 2022.

Indonesia's Ruang Volcano erupts on April 17, 2024. (PVMBG)

Indonesia's Ruang Volcano erupts on April 17, 2024. (PVMBG)