Mount Soputan, located at Southeast Minahasa District of the North Sulawesi Province, erupted on Wednesday, 3/10/2018 at 08.47 WITA. The observation post of Mount Soputan PVMBG reported that the height of the volcanic ashes were observed to be as high as 4,000 meters above the surface of the peak of the crater or around 5.809m above sea level. The high pressure ash columns was observed to be gray to brown in color with a thick intensity leaning towards the west or northwest. The eruption was recorded on a seismogram with a maximum amplitude of 39mm and a duration of 6 minutes.
A volcanic ash rain is estimated to fall in the areas of west-northwest of the Soputan Mountain area. VONA (Volcano Observatory Notice of Aviation) was set at Orange. This means that it does not disturb any flights. Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado City is still operating as usual. The position of the airport is southeast of the Soputan Mountain.
BPBD is still conducting observations. There have been no reports on the impacts of the eruption of Soputan Mountain. BPBD is handing out masks to the locals.
Currently the Mount Soputan is on Status Level III (standby) with following recommendations: All locals should not do any activities around the area of a radius of 4km from the peak of Soputan Mountain and around the expansion of the sectoral area towards the west-northwest as far as 6,5 km from the peak which happens to be the open crater area to avoid any potential lava or hot clouds. Locals around the Soputan Mountain area are encouraged to prepare masks to cover their mouths and noses, as an anticipation of preventing any respiratory disorders if ash rain is to occur. Locals are to stay alert of a potential volcanic mudflow which could occur after the eruption where the material of the eruption is brought over by water, especially by rivers coming from around the hillsides of Mount Soputan, such as Ranowangko River, Lawaian River, Popang River, and Londola Kelewahu.
Locals are encouraged to stay calm. Follow all instructions from PVMBG. The obsevation post of Soputan Mountain is continuously observing the volcanic activities. Locals do not need to evacuate. In the 4 Km radius there are no housings. So condition is still safe.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho
Head of the Center for Data Information and Public Relations of BNPB