North Sulawesi Airport Should Be Closed After Volcano Eruption, Expert Says
North Sulawesi’s Sam Ratulangi Airport should be temporarily closed as the Mount Lokon volcano erupted again on Tuesday, Indonesia’s top volcanologist said.
The volcano, located in Tomohon — about 10 kilometers south of Manado, erupted at 11:55 a.m. on Tuesday, spraying volcanic ash across an area 2.5 kilometers from Mount Lokon’s Tompaluan crater. The eruption was bigger than last week’s, said Surono, the head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
“I cannot force Sam Ratulangi Airport to be closed, but I’ve
recommended the closing,” Surono said.
He also urged the government to prepare alternative ways to connect Manado and Tomohon, stating that past eruptions had left the town isolated. Anyone living within 2.5 kilometer radius from the mountain’s crater should be evacuated Surono said.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency sent disaster aid, including dozens of relief tents and food packages to Tomohon.
No casualties or injuries were reported following Tuesday’s eruption, and it remains unclear how many people have been evacuated from the area around the volcano.