Indonesia: Volcano Erupts On Same Island Hit By Deadly Earthquake And Tsunami

Ash was thrown 19,685ft into the sky.

A volcano has erupted on the same Indonesian island hit by a deadly earthquake and tsunami five days ago.

Mount Soputan, about 375 miles north east of Palu in North Sulawesi province, starting throwing ash 19,685ft (6,000m) into the sky on Wednesday.

There were no reports of any casualties or damage.

The eruption could have been triggered by last Friday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake, which also created a tsunami and has killed 1,407 people – with the death toll rising daily.

“It could be that this earthquake triggered the eruption, but the direct correlation has yet to be seen as there had been an increase in the Mount Soputan activity,” Kasbani, the head of Indonesia’s Vulcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation agency, told online news portal Tempo.

Ash was not expected to disrupt flights however, the public were warned to avoid the area around the volcano and wear masks in the event of ashfall.

Kasbani, who uses one name, said volcanic activity had been increasing at Soputan since August and began surging Monday.

Nazli Ismail, a geophysicist at University of Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh on Sumatra island, stressed there was no concrete evidence to show they are linked.

“People talk about the butterfly effect. The concept is that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it can cause a catastrophe,” he said. “So it is possible for the earthquake to trigger the volcano eruption, but it’s not conclusive. This needs to be further investigated.”

Nazri said the Soputan volcano eruption isn’t surprising as Indonesia sits on the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire,” making it one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to quakes and tsunamis.

Soputan is one of the most active volcanoes on the island.

A quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

A huge aid operation continues for survivors of the tsunami with no access to electricity or running water.