The Indonesian government has elevated the status of 19 more volcanoes across the country to the second highest alert category. This comes after the eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra that killed 16 people on Saturday.
Since last year, three volcanoes have been on high alert status including Lokon and Karangetang in North Sulawesi and Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) raised the status yesterday for the 19 volcanoes, which are located all across the archipelago, but has yet to evacuate the nearby populations.
As one of the world's most seismically active countries, the 19 volcanoes are among the 127 active volcanoes encircling the Pacific Basin in Indonesia, situated on the geographically named Ring of Fire.
In a statement given on Monday, Sutopo instructed nearby residents not to panic that they have not been evacuated yet. "Volcanoes erupt in stages, they won't suddenly erupt. Their activity can be categorised from normal to waspada [alert] to siaga [high alert] to awas [danger, the highest level]," he said on Monday.