A key airport on Indonesian island of Sulawesi was closed yesterday after a nearby volcano started billowing smoke and ash. Sam Ratulangi Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi, was forced to close on Sunday after Mount Soputan started erupting at 6am. The closure was initially for a period of three hours, but was later extended to 7am Monday morning. Local news portal, tribunnews.com reported the airport’s Duty manager, Djoefri Wagino as saying that the situation was “subject to change”.
Manado is the capital of the North Sulawesi province and a key hub for the region. It is also a popular diving destination, serving as a drop off point for nearby Bunaken National Park. Mount Soputan, also located in North Sulawesi, last erupted in September 2008.