Mount Lokon erupts – ash cloud closes airportAccording to reports, Officials at a key North Sulawesi airport were forced to shut down operations on Sunday after a 1,580-meter volcano erupted on Saturday, sending ash into the skies and hampering visibility. Mount Lokon erupted on Saturday at around 11.50 p.m. local time and gushed volcanic ash across northern and northeastern areas of Sulawesi, forcing officials to close down Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport.

“We’re closing down the airport until 1 p.m.” Ilham Sakti, spokesman of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I, which runs the Manado airport, was quoted as saying on Sunday by news portal Bisnis.com. Ash clouds were hampering visibility on runways and in the skies, Ilham said. Thousands of passengers were reportedly stuck at the airport due to the sudden closure, waiting for further information. In July, ash clouds from Mount Raung in eastern Java prompted multiple closures at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. –Source