Hundreds evacuated as Indonesia volcanic eruption sparks tsunami fears

A tsunami warning has been issued in Indonesia after a volcano erupted several times in the province of North Sulawesi, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate.   

Mount Ruang first erupted just before 10pm on Tuesday local time, spewing smoke more than a mile into the sky. It then erupted four more times on Wednesday, causing concerns part of the volcano could collapse into the ocean and cause a tsunami.   

Officials are concerned about a repeat of 1871 when Mount Ruang erupted and triggered a devasting tsunami which was 25 metres. It flooded many nearby villages and killed 400 people.

Residents have been evacuated from Tagulandang island which is at risk from the volcano.   

Officials raised the alert level from three to four on Wednesday night - the highest level.   

"Based on the result of visual and instrumental observation that showed an increase in volcanic activity, Mount Ruang's level was raised from level three to level four," head of Indonesia's volcanology agency  Hendra Gunawan said.   

A 6km exclusion zone are the crater is in place. There have been no reports of deaths or injuries and more than 800 people have been evacuated. Tourists are also being told to avoid the area.   

Evacuated residents are being relocated to the nearest city Mando which is a six-hour journey by boat.   

In 2018 Indonesia's Anak Krakatau volcano erupted causing a tsunami along the coast of Sumatra and Java after parts of the mountain fell into the ocean. In total 430 people were killed.