A volcano has erupted on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, where last week, more than 1,400 people died after an earthquake and tsunami hit.
The volcano, Mount Soputan, is located on the north of the island, and erupted just before 9am local time this morning, (Wednesday, October 3).
A column of ash and smoke could be seen rising from the mountain. There are currently no reports of evacuations, with people in the area being advised to remain indoors.
BNPB Indonesia tweeted [translated]:
Soputan Mountain, Southeast Sulawesi Province, North Sulawesi Province erupted as high as 4,000 meters, 3/10/2018 at 08.47 WITA. The ash column with strong pressure was observed to be grey to brown with thick intensity inclined towards west & northwest. Level 3 status (Alert) & 4 Km Safe radius.
Gunung Soputan, Kab.Minahasa Tenggara Provinsi Sulut meletus setinggi 4.000 meter, 3/10/2018 pukul 08.47 WITA. Kolom abu dgn tekanan kuat teramati berwarna kelabu hingga coklat dgn intensitas tebal condong ke arah barat & barat laut. Status level 3 (Waspada) & radius Aman 4 Km. pic.twitter.com/NCTYHb9aNc
— BNPB Indonesia (@BNPB_Indonesia) October 3, 2018
According to the BNPB, the current alert for the area around Mount Soputan is at level three on the four-level volcano warning scale. People are being advised to not go within 4km of the volcano, as Daily Mail reports.
The ash from the eruption is said to be drifting towards the west and northwest of the island.
According to a press release put out by Magma Indonesia, the ash column reached a height of around 4,000m above the peak of the volcano, 5,800m above sea level, with the eruption lasting six minutes.
There were also three follow-up eruptions recorded.
They also said [translated]:
The current monitoring data of G. Soputan indicate that the magmatic activity of G. Soputan is currently still high and still has the potential to erupt both explosively in the form of vertical ash columns and effusively in the form of lava flows or hot clouds.
Residents in the area are being advised to prepare a mask to cover their nose and mouth, in anticipation of potential respiratory problems from the possibility of ash rain.
Last Friday (September 28), an earthquake and tsunami struck the island of Sulawesi. So far, more than 1,400 deaths have been recorded.
A 7.5 magnitude earthquake was recorded, with more than 150 aftershocks following.
Aid supplies are now beginning to arrive on the island, where residents and survivors have been without access to running water or electricity since the earthquake.
According to the BBC, police in the city of Palu, the worst affected area, are currently in place to try and stop people looting and taking supplies from shops.
Officers were initially lenient on people taking basic goods and necessary items, but now people have been arrested for stealing computers and cash.
Deputy national police chief, Ari Dono Sukmanto, said:
After day two the food supply started to come in, it only needed to be distributed. We are now re-enforcing the law.
The city of Palu and nearby area of Donggala have been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. The search for survivors is becoming increasingly difficult as the ground has become highly unstable due to mudslides, with the water from the tsunami flooding the ruins of collapsed buildings.
Red Cross volunteers are in the affected areas, supporting search and rescue efforts and distributing vital aid. If you’d like to donate, click here.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.