Manado, North Sulawesi (ANTARA) - State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I at Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi, has extended the airport closure for flight activities until Monday (April 22) owing to the volcanic ash of Mount Ruang's eruption.

"Mount Ruang continues to erupt and we must postpone all flight activities to and from Manado," General Manager of Sam Ratulangi Airport Maya Damayanti said here Sunday.

The NOTAM (notice to airmen): A1041/24 NOTAMR A1021/24 has earlier confirmed the airport's temporary closure for flight activities until Monday (22/4) at 12.00 local time, she said.

Meanwhile, Sam Ratulangi International Airport Spokesperson Yanti Pramono said the decision to suspend the flight activities at the airport was.made since the situation and conditions were not yet conducive and safe for aviation.

"This is for sake of safety and security of aviation," she emphasized.

Therefore, she reminded all prospective passengers and the public to comply with this regulation for safety.

According to Pramono, the volcanic ash is harmful as it can damage aircraft engines, and, as a result, may increase risks of flight safety.

When parked, both plane engines must be covered tightly, preventing the ash from entering those engines, she added.

Mount Ruang has erupted since April 16, 2024, after an increase in seismic activity. The volcano's status changed three times on the same day, from Normal (Level I), to Caution (Level IV).

On Saturday (April 20), a total of 327 residents were evacuated due to the eruption by using the Indonesian Naval Ship (KRI) Kakap-811. They arrived at the Indonesian Navy's Main Naval Base (Lantamal) VIII in Bitung City.

As of Saturday, 527 residents had been evacuated to Bitung, 51 kilometers away from Manado, as the Navy had carried out the first and second batch of evacuations on April 18 and April 19.

Related news: Some 272 families evacuated due to Mount Ruang's eruption: BNPB
Related news: Govt to restore North Sulawesi's tourism after Mt Ruang eruption: Uno

Translator: Nancy Lynda T, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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