Soputan volcano Sulawesi, Indonesia : August 14-15 eruption + videos + August 17 update

UPDATE 08/09 : PVMBG, The Indonesian official Volcano Alert service has decreased the alert level from 3 to 2 (waspada).

UPDATE 17/08-14:54 : PVMBG, The Indonesian official Volcano Alert service has maintained Level 3.

UPDATE 16/08-07:11 : The current activity of Soputan volcano decreased despite his status was still at III (on a scale of I to IV). Major eruptions were no longer continuing. 11 volcanic earthquakes and 21 avalanches have been reported around the crater. A thin white smoke column that blew as high as 150 meters to the west is still visible. Earthquake tremors still continue to occur with an amplitude smaller than 0.52.

UPDATE 15/08-07:20 UTC : The eruption is still going on but is weakening a little bit.  Visual observation of the volcano has detected  at least 40 debris avalanches around the craters. This means that volcanic activity is still continuing. The safety No-Go radius has been widened yesterday to  6 km. The closest village just outside the dangerous perimeter is Desa Kota Menara. Those people who want to see nightly lava streams should click here for the pictures from the Tribun Manado.

UPDATE 14/08-17:30 UTC : A couple of minutes ago "TheBuracho69" has uploaded a video of the eruption on YouTube. The quality is not super, but the video footage shows very well the strength of the ash cloud. The last images are showing the strongest part of the eruption.

"TheBuracho69" has also uploaded a second and third video with the title "Soputan volcano eruption" and "Impact of Soputan volcano eruptions" but unfortunately without any comment. It is supposedly shot closer to the volcano (in the No-Go radius?). You will see people cleaning the ash covered area and  other people who are  moving fallen trees and bamboo from the road. Again, please keep in mind that we are not sure that the damage to the forest has been caused by this eruption (however it looks like it was done now as the last eruption was on July 3), when the video was shot and how close to the volcano. The video has been uploaded 2 hours after the eruption cloud video.

UPDATE 14/08-17:03 UTC : Officials told the press that the alert status of Mt Soputan was also increased 1 level to III. This brings the number of volcanoes into the second highest alert level to 5.
NO volcano has the highest alert level so far.

RENEWED ACTIVITY UPDATE 14/08-16:07 UTC : The Soputan volcano once again started spewing ash clouds in the air as he did on July 3. The farmers in the surrounding villages are very concerned for their crops.
It can be called curious that the Indonesian Authorities have only an Alert level II active for this volcano (on a scale of 1 to 4), although a local Sulawesi spokesman told the press that the alert status will probably be raised today to level III. The 1784 meter high volcano spews ash until a level of 12,000 feet (3,700 meter). The density stays moderately dangerous for air traffic for approx. 55 nm (nautical miles)  in a westerly direction (source VAAC).
The Indonesian NDMA reports that the first of 2 powerful eruptions started at 09:27 local time (the ash cloud climbed 1,200 above the summit crater). 7 hours later a second burst of ash followed.
Authorities have ordered a 4 km No-Go radius as the NDMA fears for avalanches and pyroclastic flows. So far there are NO reports of injuries or serious damage.

UPDATE 04/07-10:19 UTC : The people working for the Mount Soputan Geological Survey have confirmed that the volcano showed no further eruption pattern. As the mountain was covered by thick clouds, scientist have not seen any alteration of color compared to normal clouds. Therefore they conclude that the activity has stopped.
Additionally we can report that the (explosive) activity of the volcano (ash clouds) resulted in 16 flights to be postponed or canceled at Manado International Airport yesterday.

UPDATE 04/07-08:32 UTC : As written below (latest update on July 3), the eruption is almost over. VAAC did NOT detect any ash clouds today and will, unless the volcano erupts again, not publish new reports.

VAAC Ash advisory for the area : The ash cloud from the initial explosion/eruption is drifting further to the south-west. The image confirms the subsiding activity of the volcano. Click on the picture to go straight to the VAAC page in Darwin, Australia. The report below dates from 14:22 UTC on July 3, 2011.
The sector most affected for the coming hours will be Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia.
VAAC comments on this latest report : HIGH LEVEL ERUPTION HAS CEASED AND IS DISSIPATING. LOW LEVEL VA NOT IDENTIFIABLE ON SAT IMAGERY DUE TO METEOROLOGICAL CLOUD BUT EXPECTED TO STILL BE IN AREA.

UPDATE : Around midnight local time (18 hours after the first eruption), the volcano's activity subsided drastically.  The activity is ongoing with some limited isolated bursts of ash. People living in the greater volcano area have been told not to enter the 8 km radius around the volcano.
The alert level was not raised due to the eruption. The authorities do not expect any further deterioration of the eruption.

An explosion started the eruption of the Soputan volcano, located in Northern Sulawesi, early this morning (local time).

The settlements around the volcano have not been evacuated as the eruption has been centered around the crater with limited impact the the surrounding landscape.
The Indonesian authorities are monitoring the eruption continuously and will order an evacuation if the volcano would change his erupting pattern.

Some regional airports have been closed from the time of the eruption until the afternoon because of ash clouds. The maximum height of the ash cloud was approx. 5 km.

The last eruption of the Soputan volcano was on June 6, 2008.

Description Soputan volcano)
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. (text and image : Smitsonian Institution)

Soputan eruption data : 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, 2007, and 2008.