Indonesia’s Regional Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) has issued a warning following the eruption of two volcanoes within minutes Wednesday.
“The community should not have activities in all areas within a four kilometers radius of the peak of Mount Soputan and within the sectoral expansion area to the west-south-west direction as far as 6.5 kilometers from the peak which is a crater opening area to avoid the potential threat of lava and hot clouds," BNPB announced.
The first volcano erupted northeast of Palu minutes before the Son of Krakatoa erupted in Java, Mount Soputan. Smoke could be seen billowing from Soputan carrying an ash column of about 4000 meters high.
Volcanic ash rain is also expected to fall in the area northwest of the mountain.
The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says there are nearly 200,000 people in urgent need of assistance, about a quarter of them children. The humanitarian relief convoys have been entering the city escorted by soldiers and police.
Soputan Mountain, Southeast Sulawesi Province, North Sulawesi Province erupted as high as 4,000 meters, 3/10/2018 at 08.47 WITA. The ash column with strong pressure was observed to be gray to brown with thick intensity inclined towards west & northwest. Level 3 status (Alert) & 4 Km Safe radius.
The British Government said, on Tuesday, it was sending an aircraft filled with urgent aid to Indonesia. Defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, said: "Britain stands united with Indonesia as they recover from this devastating tragedy."
The death toll from Friday's earthquake and tsunami have risen to 1,347, according to disaster response officials. The death toll jumped sharply, on Tuesday, from 844. Authorities fear some survivors remain trapped under rubble.
The 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the central island of Sulawesi, causing a tsunami with waves that rose as high as six meters in some areas.
Basic services have been interrupted resulting in very little running water, power, food or drinking water. Hospitals are also damaged and the injured people are being treated in open at one military field hospital that was set up.
The European Union and about 10 countries, including the United States and China, have offered assistance to Indonesian. On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison donated $360,000 and pledged more.
Indonesia is located on the very active Ring of Fire, home to a volcanic zone and its 452 volcanoes. The region also has a series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, volcanic belts, and tectonic plate movements.