At the beginning of 2024, one of the Indonesian volcanoes became active. Clouds of smoke and ash began to emerge from the crater, which led to the closure of the nearby airport.
Lewotobi is a twin volcano located in the southeast of Flores Island in Indonesia. It consists of the Lewotobi Lakilaki and Lewotobi Perempuan stratovolcanoes. Its last eruption has actually been going on since December 23, 2023, but at the beginning of 2024 there was a special emission of smoke and ash, which paralyzed the operation of the nearby airport and put the authorities on increased vigilance.
Volcanic eruption on the Lesser Sunda Islands
On Monday, the eruption of the Lewotobi volcano, located on one of the Indonesian islands, intensified. Smoke and thick ash began to emerge from the crater. Unfortunately, this led to serious consequences.
The country’s authorities first of all raised the alarm for the nearby population. Air traffic was also paralyzed as the decision was made to close the airport on Monday. On Tuesday, the announcements were maintained.
Closed airport in Indonesia
The Frans Seda Maumere Airport in Sikka Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, was temporarily closed to flights to and from Maumere on Monday due to the Lewotobi eruption in East Flores Island.
“BMKG (Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency) observations continue to detect volcanic ash in the sky. Therefore, we are extending the temporary closure,” said one of the airport’s managers, Partahian Panjaitan.
Mount Lewotobi Lakilaki, located 600 kilometers from the famous tourist town of Labuan Bajo, erupted on January 1, 2024. Local authorities raised the alert level from II to III, which means that they are fully ready for evacuation and are closely monitoring the behavior of the volcano.
Frans Seda Maumere airport remains closed because its runway is covered with volcanic ash. Partahian Panjaitan reports that if volcanic ash finds its way into an aircraft engine, it can pose a fatal threat. “Flight safety is the most important thing, which is why we decided to temporarily close the airport,” he said.