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Soputan volcano
Stratovolcano 1784 m (5,853 ft)
North Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1.11°N / 124.73°E
Current status: restless (2 out of 5)
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Soputan volcano eruptions:
1785, 1819, 1833(?), 1845, 1890, 1901, 1906, 1907, 1908-09, 1910, 1911-12, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1923-24, 1947, 1953, 1966-67, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1991-96, 2000-03, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
Typical eruption style:
Explosive, construction of lava domes, pyroclastic flows, strombolian activity.
Last earthquakes nearby
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Volcano news: Soputan

Soputan volcano (N-Sulawesi, Indonesia): strong vulcanian eruption this morning, ash to 6 km altitude

Wednesday Oct 03, 2018 07:44 AM | BY: T

Soputan seen from the NE side, taken by our tour guide Donald Tapehe (VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)
Soputan seen from the NE side, taken by our tour guide Donald Tapehe (VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)
Seismic activity at Soputan over the past months (VSI Indonesia)
Seismic activity at Soputan over the past months (VSI Indonesia)
The volcano erupted this morning at 08:47 local time. The eruption consisted of a sudden large vulcanian explosion which lasted 6 minutes and sent a vertical ash column to approx. 4 km height above the volcano and caused light to moderate ash falls in nearby areas to the W and NW.
As the last attached photo shows, a collapse of parts of the eruption column caused a pyroclastic flow on the western side.
VAAC Darwin reported the plume height to reach 20,000 ft and drifting NE. Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado City continues to operate normally.
Recordings from from the local volcano observatory shows that there had been a light increase in seismic activity under the volcano during the previous days, but the eruption came apparently as a surprise.

No injuries or damage were reported from the eruption. Indonesia's Civil Protection BNPB declared a 4 km exclusion zone in a circle around the crater, extended to 6.5 km in the NW sector. Local communities were warned of potential pyroclastic flows (hot avalanches of blocks, ash and gas) and mud flows that could occur as as result of the eruption, especially in the rivers upstream around the slopes of Mount Soputan, such as Ranowangko River, Lawian River, Popang River and Londola Kelewahu.
The volcano's alert level was eraised to the second highest 3 ("siaga" - standby) on a scale of 1-4.

Possible connection with Sulawesi earthquake?
The volcano lies on the same island as Friday's catastrophic M7.4 earthquake near Palu at about 600 km distance to the ENE. The earthquake had caused a tsunami which had claimed more than 1000 lives. Whether the two events are linked is impossible to say at the moment, but large earthquakes such as this are known to be able to help trigger volcanic eruptions in certain cases (when the volcano is "ready" to erupt anyway).
Links / Sources:
Previous news
Satellite image of Soputan volcano on  3 Oct 2018
Wednesday, Oct 03, 2018
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Darwin (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]
Seismic activity of Soputan during recent weeks (VSI)
Friday, May 13, 2016
On 21 April, VSI lowered the alert level from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4), following a decrease in seismic and visible activity from the volcano. [more]
Seismic activity at Soputan during the past months (VSI)
Thursday, Mar 31, 2016
In its latest report, VSI describes continuing elevated seismic activity, including shallow volcanic earthquakes and avalanches that indicate slow magma extrusion from the main vent. ... [more]
Glow from Soputan this morning (photo: Ingrid / VolcanoDiscovery)
Monday, Mar 14, 2016
A small group of VolcanoDiscovery just returned from a visit to Soputan. While clouds prevented detailed observations most of the time, glow was visible from the summit at night and moderate steaming during the day. ... [more]
Seismic activity at Soputan over the past year (red lines=explosion signals, guguran=avalanche signals)
Wednesday, Mar 02, 2016
The volcano has remained calm since its last eruption on 6-7 February, but continues to show significant signs of unrest. Its alert level is being maintained at 3 on the Indonesian scale of 1-4. ... [more]


The small Soputan stratovolcano on the southern rim of the Quaternary Tondano caldera on the northern arm of Sulawesi Island is one of Sulawesi's most active volcanoes.  The youthful, largely unvegetated volcano rises to 1784 m and is located SW of Sempu volcano.  It was constructed at the southern end of a SSW-NNE trending line of vents.  During historical time the locus of eruptions has included both the summit crater and Aeseput, a prominent NE-flank vent that formed in 1906 and was the source of intermittent major lava flows until 1924.

Source: GVP, Smithsonian Institution

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