Indonesia tsunami and earthquake 2018: volcano eruption adds to woes on Sulawesi

Indonesia tsunami and earthquake 2018: volcano eruption adds to woes on Sulawesi

Mount Soputan spewed ash into the sky, prompting the government to evacuate residents

soputanreuters.jpg

Mount Soputan is about 900km away from the area affected by the quake and tsunami.
Photo: Reuters

A volcano erupted on Wednesday on the same island in Indonesia where an earthquake and tsunami last week killed at least 1,400 people.

The eruption of Mount Soputan on Sulawesi island prompted authorities to warn of possible lava flows and ash clouds that could affect air travel. Evacuations were ordered for those living within a few kilometres of the volcano.

The eruption spewed ash 6,000 metres into the sky. Soputan is about 940 kilometres northeast of the quake zone.

Aid is reaching disaster-hit areas, but slowly

Scientists have not yet determined whether the eruption was directly triggered by the earthquake in central Sulawesi on Friday. However, Indonesian news portal Tempo cited a government volcanologist who suspected it was.

Indonesia has many active volcanoes. It is also located in the so-called Ring of Fire, one of the most active areas for earthquakes in the world.

On top of the earthquake, tsunami and now volcanic eruption, Sulawesi also has to cope with liquefaction - but what is that?

In addition to the growing death toll, hundreds of people were severely injured in Friday’s disasters. With many roads blocked and key communication lines and infrastructure destroyed, food, water, fuel and medicine are struggling to reach the hardest-hit areas outside Palu, the largest city heavily damaged.

More than 60,000 people have been displaced, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

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