Mt Awu in North Sulawesi in an Increased Likelihood of Erupting: Authority

Arfi Bambani
Mount Awu in North Sulawesi covered by fog
Mount Awu in North Sulawesi covered by fog - The alert status of Mount Awu in North Sulawesi was raised from normal to level 2 after an increased volcanic activity was observed since October 2021. The status was raised by The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's Geological Agency.

"The increased activity of Mt Awu was marked by an increase in volcanic seismicity that indicates an increase in magma pressure in the volcano," the agency's secretary, Ediar Usman, noted in a statement quoted by Antara news agency, Monday, December 13, 2021.

According to Usman, the volcano's surface activity has yet to show significant changes. However, there is an increased likelihood of Mt Awu erupting, although the time of the eruption cannot be ascertained. The volcano could spew incandescent lava as well as pyroclastic material.

"Other likely threats are the emission of toxic gases around the crater area. If an eruption occurs and the material falls on the slopes of the volcano, then there is a likely threat of cold lava when it rains," he pointed out.

The 1,320-metre-high volcano is located on Sangihe Island in Sangihe Islands District, North Sulawesi Province.

The Geological Agency has notified the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), North Sulawesi Governor, and Sangihe Islands District Head regarding the increased activity of Mt Awu.

"Mt Awu's eruption characteristics can be magmatic explosive, effusive, or phreatic. Its last eruption in June 2004 produced an eruption column as high as two kilometers above the peak and left a lava dome in the crater about 370 meters in diameter and 30 meters in height," Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) head Andiani stated.

Volcanic earthquakes have been observed to increase since October. Shallow volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the range of seven to 26 events per day, whereas earlier, the maximum recorded events per day had reached five.

"Deep volcanic earthquakes have also been observed to increase. In addition, the seismic amplitude (RSAM) has increased progressively from November up to now," she remarked.

The agency has advised the residents, visitors, and tourists to refrain from any activities within a one-kilometer radius of Mt Awu's crater.

It also called on people to remain calm and not be provoked by false information regarding the activities of Mt Awu.

Tag # volcanic eruption # volcano # disaster # north sulawesi

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