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Indonesia’s Mount Ruang erupts again, closing the international airport

Indonesia’s remote Mount Ruang volcano erupted several times again on Tuesday, the country’s volcanology agency said, forcing evacuations, the closure of a nearby international airport and the raising of the alert level to the highest level.

Authorities had warned that the threat from the volcano was not over after it erupted more than six times this month, leading to the evacuation of more than 6,000 people.

Ruang, located in the outermost region of North Sulawesi province, erupted around 1:15 a.m. local time (1715 GMT Monday) and twice more on Tuesday morning, the volcanology bureau said in a statement.

The volcano sent a tower of ash more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) into the sky, he said.

The agency also reinstated a six-kilometer exclusion zone and said locals should be aware of “the potential for ejection of glowing rocks, hot clouds and tsunamis due to eruption material entering the sea.”

Images released by the agency showed a molten red column bursting into the sky, a large ash cloud pouring from the crater and burning embers near local homes.

More than 800 people live on Ruang, all of whom were evacuated this month.

Some had returned to their homes after emergency status ended on Monday, an AFP journalist said.

It is unclear how many residents have returned and how many residents had to evacuate again.

Ruang’s latest eruption also prompted authorities to close again Sam Ratulangi International Airport in the provincial capital Manado, more than 100 kilometers away, according to a message from state air traffic control AirNav Indonesia.

The message stated that the airport was closed due to “volcanic ash from Ruang.”

Indonesia, a vast archipelago, regularly experiences seismic and volcanic activity due to its location on the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific Ocean.

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