Mount Soputan in North Sulawesi erupts

Mount Soputan erupting on Oct 3, 2018. The volcano erupted again on Dec 16, spewing thick smoke and an ash column 7,500 metres into the sky.
Mount Soputan erupting on Oct 3, 2018. The volcano erupted again on Dec 16, spewing thick smoke and an ash column 7,500 metres into the sky.PHOTO: REUTERS/ANTARA FOTO

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Mount Soputan in Minahasa, North Sulawesi, erupted on Sunday (Dec 16) morning, spewing a 7,500m-high ash column and thick smoke into the sky, according to Indonesia's Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG).

Ash was monitored drifting to the south and south-west following the eruption at 8.57am local time. It was followed by tremors that lasted around 30 minutes.

Residents were advised to remain outside a 4km radius from the peak and avoid any activities within 6.5km to the west and south-west of the crater because of concerns of lava and hot ash.

Riverbank settlements near the mountain, such as those located along Ranowangko, Lawian, Popang and Kelewahu rivers, were also warned of the potential for lava flows following rain.

In October, Soputan erupted at least twice, prompting the authorities to raise the volcano's status to a "Level III" in the national four-level volcano alert system.