Indonesia’s Mount Soputan erupts on tsunami-hit island

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Indonesia’s Mount Soputan volcano spews lava and ash during an eruption as seen from Silian 3 village in Minahasa Tenggara, Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, January 5, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Adwit B Pramono/Antara Foto

Indonesia’s Mount Soputan volcano on the quake-and tsunami-hit island of Sulawesi erupted Wednesday, spewing volcanic ash 4,000 metres into the air.

The state disaster agency warned people to stay at least four kilometres (two and a half miles) away but said there was no need to evacuate for the time being.

Images showed an eruption visible for miles around, with a cloud of ash climbing in a large vertical column with a mushroom-shaped top.

Soputan is around 1,000 kilometres from the town of Palu where a 7.5 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that lashed the coastline killing almost 1,400 people.

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.