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Volcano erupts in Indonesia days after devastating earthquake and tsunami

Kim Hjelmgaard 

A volcano erupted Wednesday on the same island in Indonesia where an earthquake and tsunami last week killed at least 1,400 people.

The eruption of Mount Soputan on Sulawesi island in central Indonesia prompted authorities to warn of possible lava flows and ash clouds that could impact air travel. Evacuations were ordered for those living within a few miles of the volcano.

Villagers walk as Mount Soputan volcano spews volcanic ash at Kota Menara village in South Minahasa, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 3, 2018.
Antara Foto | Adwit B Pramono | Reuters

The eruption spewed ash 19,700 feet into the sky.

Scientists have not yet determined whether the eruption was directly triggered by the earthquake in central Sulawesi on Friday. However, Indonesian news portal Tempo cited a government volcanologist who suspected it was.

Indonesia has many actives volcanoes. It is also located in the so-called Ring of Fire, one of the most active areas for earthquakes in the world.

President Donald Trump called Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday to offer assistance with both the emergency phase and reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi.

More from USA Today:

In addition to the growing death toll, hundreds of people were severely injured in Friday's disasters. With many roads blocked and key communication lines and infrastructure destroyed, food, water, fuel and medicine are struggling to reach the hardest-hit areas outside Palu, the largest city heavily damaged. More than 60,000 people have been displaced, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

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Key Points
  • Five days after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, survivors are still waiting for an aid operation to move into high gear.
  • The official death toll from the 7.5 magnitude quake that struck the west coast of the island of Sulawesi last Friday stood at 1,234.
  • Officials fear the toll could soar, as most of the confirmed dead have come from Palu, a small city 930 miles northeast of Jakarta, and losses in remote areas largely cut off since Friday have yet to be determined.