More People Are Evacuated After the Dramatic Eruption of an Indonesian Volcano 

Search and rescue boat is docked on the port of Tagulandang as Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. (Reuters)
Search and rescue boat is docked on the port of Tagulandang as Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. (Reuters)
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More People Are Evacuated After the Dramatic Eruption of an Indonesian Volcano 

Search and rescue boat is docked on the port of Tagulandang as Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. (Reuters)
Search and rescue boat is docked on the port of Tagulandang as Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. (Reuters)

More people living near an erupting volcano on Indonesia's Sulawesi Island were evacuated on Friday due to the dangers of spreading ash, falling rocks, hot volcanic clouds and the possibility of a tsunami.

An international airport in Manado city, which is located less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the erupting Mount Ruang, is still temporarily closed as volcanic ash was spewed into the air.

Satellite imagery from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency showed that the ash has spread to the west, northwest, northeast and southeast, covering Manado and North Minahasa, according to a statement from Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry.

“We are still monitoring developments in the eruption of Mount Ruang and coordinating with relevant stakeholders ... to anticipate the necessary actions to ensure flight safety, security and comfort,” said Ambar Suryoko, head of the regional airport authority.

More than 11,000 people were told to leave their homes and at least 1,000 have done so. A joint team from the local authorities is still combing the villages surrounding the volcano and evacuating the residents to safer areas by boat.

Officials worry that part of the volcano could collapse into the sea and cause a tsunami, as happened in an eruption there in 1871 eruption.

Houses, roads and other buildings in the affected areas were covered by gray volcanic ash. Many house roofs were also broken by the materials spewed from the eruption.

Mount Ruang saw at least five large eruptions Wednesday, causing the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation to issue its highest level of alert. People were ordered to stay at least 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the 725-meter (2,378-foot) mountain.

The observation from the agency on Friday said that white smoke is rising from the main crater with medium to thick intensity.

Tagulandang Island, east of the volcano, could be at risk if a collapse occurred. Its residents were among those being told to evacuate. Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said residents will be relocated to Manado, a journey of six hours by boat.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, has 120 active volcanoes. It is prone to volcanic activity because it sits along the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.



Asharq Al-Awsat Secures 3 Awards in Arab Media, Samir Atallah Named Personality of the Year

The winners of the Arab Media Awards
The winners of the Arab Media Awards
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Asharq Al-Awsat Secures 3 Awards in Arab Media, Samir Atallah Named Personality of the Year

The winners of the Arab Media Awards
The winners of the Arab Media Awards

At the 2024 Arab Media Award ceremony in Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper scooped up three top honors.

Samir Atallah, a writer for the paper, was named “Media Personality of the Year.”

Asharq Al-Awsat’s Ali AlSarai won in the Arab Journalism category with his piece on Iraq post-Al-Aqsa Flood, while Ossama Al-Saeed received recognition for his economic journalism on electronic gaming.

Additionally, the best documentary was won by “In front of the scenes... salt on a wound” on Al Sharq TV.

This brings the total awards for Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG) platforms to four for this year’s edition of the awards.

Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, presented the award for the Media Personality of the Year to Atallah in recognition of his contributions to Lebanese media.

Atallah, who started his career at An Nahar newspaper, has been writing his daily column for Asharq Al-Awsat since 1987. Atallah has accrued nearly four decades of experience across Paris, London, and North America, and has authored various books.

Sheikh Mansoor also honored Tunisian writer Abdul Latif Al Zubaidi from the UAE newspaper Al Khaleej with the Best Columnist award. This award was given in recognition of his intellectual contributions, which have enriched the Arab press with numerous articles and ideas.

The investigative reporting award was won by Sahar Al-Maliji from Al Masri Alyoum newspaper.

The category of children’s media was won by Al-Arabi Al-Sagher Magazine.

The award ceremony took place at Arab Media Forum in Dubai.

Under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the 22nd edition of the Arab Media Forum kicked off on Tuesday in Dubai.

About 4000 media professionals are attending the two-day forum, including Arab politicians, media leaders, local and Arab newspaper editors, influential writers, and media personalities.