Mt Ruang: Last eruptions before Wednesday occurred in 2002, 1949

This handout photograph taken and released by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation on April 17, 2024, shows Mount Ruang releasing hot lava and smoke in Sangihe Islands as seen from Sitaro, North Sulawesi. A volcano erupted several times in Indonesia's outermost region overnight on April 17, forcing hundreds of people to be evacuated after it spewed lava and a column of smoke more than a mile into the sky. - Photo: AFP PHOTO / CENTER FOR VOLCANOLOGY AND GEOLOGICAL HAZARD MITIGATION / PVMBG

PETALING JAYA: The last eruption of Mount Ruang in Sulawesi, Indonesia, before Wednesday (April 17) was in 2002, according to the Smithsonian Institution.

Its National Museum of Natural History's Global Volcanism Programme website states that the last confirmed eruption ran from Sept 25 to approximately Sept 29, 2002.

Prior to this, Mount Ruang's last confirmed eruption was from Jan 5 to approximately Jan 19, 1949.

The volcano also erupted from May 29, 1914 to an estimated end-date of Feb 28, 1915.

In the most recent incident, the volcano on the northern side of Sulawesi island has had at least five large eruptions in the past 24 hours, Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation said.

Authorities have raised their volcano alert to its highest level, and at least 800 residents left the area on Wednesday.

Tourists and others have also been told to stay at least 6km (3.7 miles) from the 725-metre (2,378 foot) Ruang volcano.

Officials worry that part of the volcano could collapse into the sea and cause a tsunami as in a 1871 eruption, which killed approximately 400 people at Tagulandang island to Mt Ruang's north-east.

Residents of the island are among those being told to evacuate.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said residents will be relocated to Manado, the nearest city, on Sulawesi island, a journey of six hours by boat.

In 2018, the eruption of Indonesia's Anak Krakatau volcano caused a tsunami along the coasts of Sumatra and Java after parts of the mountain fell into the ocean, killing 430 people.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, has 120 active volcanoes. It is prone to volcanic activity because it sits along the "Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.

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