Indonesia’s Mount Soputan erupts

Jakarta • Indonesia’s Mount Soputan volcano on the quake-and tsunami-hit island of Sulawesi erupted yesterday, spewing volcanic ash 4,000m into the air.

The State Disaster Agency warned people to stay at least 4km away, but said there was no need to evacuate for the time being.

Images showed an eruption visible for miles around, with a cloud of ash climbing in a large vertical column with a mushroom-shaped top.

Soputan is around 1,000km from the town of Palu where a 7.5-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that lashed the coastline, killing some 1,400 people (at press time).

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity. —AFP