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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

Volcano eruptions in Sulawesi results in flight cancellations

18 April 2024

By Nabalu News Journalist

KOTA KINABALU: Due to the eruption of the Ruang Volcano in North Sulawesi, Malaysia Airlines canceled several flights to and from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Sabah and Sarawak today.

According to sources, the affected flights include 16 flights to Sabah, two to Labuan and 16 flights to Sarawak while AirAsia also canceled 16 flights between Kuala Lumpur and Sabah.

More than 20,000 passengers were affected following the suspension of all scheduled flights coming in and out of airports in Kota Kinabalu, Labuan, Tawau and Sandakan today.

Passengers traveling to and from destinations in Sabah and Sarawak from 19 April 2024 onwards are advised to remain vigilant and stay updated with the most recent information, as flight operations may be affected by prevailing weather conditions.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said Sabah is monitoring the effects of Indonesia’s Mt Ruang volcanic eruptions closely.

"I have been briefed about the situation and we are keeping tab. Safety is priority and it important that we prioritise the safety of the people,” he said.

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Christina Liew has urged the parties affected by the suspension of flights, including tourists travelling to or leaving Sabah, to be patient.

“Be patient. The magnitude of the phenomenon was unforeseen and beyond our control. However, the Government is monitoring the situation closely,” said Liew.

Earlier today, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) issued Safety Information regarding the Volcanic Ash Hazard Warning in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, which impacted flight operations in the Kota Kinabalu Flight Information Region (FIR).

This Safety Information was issued following the eruption of Mount Ruang in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, which began at 9:45 a.m. on April 16, 2024. The eruption resulted in the formation of ash clouds moving towards the Kota Kinabalu FIR, posing a risk to aircraft safety in that airspace.

CAAM had advised airlines and aircraft operators to continuously monitor meteorological updates, advisories and information related to volcanic ash issued by the authorities.

Members of the public involved in flights in the affected area were also advised to stay informed about developments in volcanic eruptions and the current status of flight schedules issued by airlines.

International media reports stated that over 11,000 individuals in that area have been instructed to evacuate due to the eruption.

The volcanic activity caused disruptions in air travel within the region. The initial eruption occurred at 9:45 pm on Tuesday, resulting in the release of significant amounts of smoke and ash into the atmosphere.


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