BNPB Deploys Helicopter for Emergency Evacuations Amid Mount Ruang Eruption in North Sulawesi


Jakarta, The Gulf Observer: In response to the eruption of Mount Ruang in Sitaro district, North Sulawesi, the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) has initiated emergency measures, including the deployment of a helicopter to aid in the evacuation of individuals affected by the volcanic activity.

Abdul Muhari, Head of the BNPB’s Data, Information, and Communication Center on Disaster, announced on Saturday that helicopter evacuations are being conducted specifically for individuals requiring urgent medical attention, owing to the limited carrying capacity of the aircraft.

While the helicopter is primarily tasked with transporting sick victims, the overall evacuation efforts are being facilitated through a collaborative effort involving various agencies such as the Navy, National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Kodam XIII/Merdeka, and North Sulawesi Regional Police, among others.

Recent data from the BNPB indicates that out of approximately 12 thousand individuals residing on Tagulandang Island within a seven-kilometer radius from the volcano’s peak, 5,719 have been successfully evacuated thus far.

Muhari highlighted the dual role of the helicopter, stating that it is also being utilized for direct monitoring of volcanic activity at Mount Ruang. Notably, air surveillance missions conducted on Saturday morning encountered no obstacles, enabling effective monitoring of the situation.

The helicopter, stationed at Klabat Stadium in Manado since April 20, 2024, has been instrumental in expediting emergency response efforts. However, flight operations have been limited to the Manado-Pulau Tagulandang route due to hazardous conditions in the vicinity of Mount Ruang.

Expressing optimism for a swift resolution, Muhari expressed hope that volcanic activity at Mount Ruang would subside, allowing for the resumption of normalcy in the affected areas and the revitalization of the regional economy.

Earlier reports from the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources indicated ongoing volcanic activity at Mount Ruang, characterized by eruptive earthquakes, shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes, as well as emissions of white-gray crater smoke reaching heights of 100–300 meters.

Despite the continued volcanic activity, observations suggest a relative decrease in intensity compared to previous eruptions on April 17 and April 30, offering a glimmer of hope for the affected communities.

The BNPB remains vigilant and committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of those impacted by the Mount Ruang eruption, as efforts to mitigate the consequences of this natural disaster continue unabated. For further updates and assistance, the public is advised to stay informed through official channels and cooperate with local authorities.