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Mount Ruang eruption: MET Malaysia says air quality in Sabah & Sarawak not affected

Mount Ruang eruption: MET Malaysia says air quality in Sabah & Sarawak not affected

The department has advised the public stay updated on further information released through its official website, the myCuaca application, and social media pages.

MET Malaysia (or Jabatan Meterorologi Malaysia) has released a media statement following Mount Ruang's eruption in North Sulawesi, Indonesia on 16 April 2024 (Wednesday).

According to the department, the height of the eruption has spread up to 55,000ft high, causing dust clouds that could cause a risk to the safety of aircrafts. That said, the department added that based on the air pollution index at the moment, the eruption has not affected the air quality in Sabah and Sarawak.

It is to be noted, per the statement, that Indonesia has since raised its warning level for the volcanic eruption to Level 4, and the country expects the volcano to remain active and face possibilities of eruption from time to time.

To this, MET Malaysia said it will continue to monitor the impact of the eruption on the country, advising the public stay updated on information released by the department through its official website, the myCuaca application, and social media pages.

For context, Mount Ruang first erupted at 9.45am on 16 April, affecting flight operations to and from Sabah and Sarawak.

On 18 April, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) issued a 'Safety Information', noting the impact of the eruption on flight operations in the Kota Kinabalu Flight Information Region (FIR). The eruption had resulted in the formation of ash clouds moving towards the Kota Kinabalu FIR, posing a risk to aircraft safety in that airspace. 

In light of that, CAAM advised airlines and aircraft operators to continuously monitor meteorological updates, advisories and information related to volcanic ash issued by the authorities.

"Members of the public involved in flights in the affected area are also advised to stay informed about developments in volcanic eruptions and the current status of flight schedules issued by airlines."

Following this, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia were among some of the flight operators cancelling flights to/from Sabah and Sarawak/East Malaysia on 18 April. As of 10.10am and 10am, respectively, on 19 April, the updates from both airlines are as follows:

  • Malaysia Airlines has commenced the gradual reinstatement of flights to and from Sabah, Sarawak, and the Federal Territory of Labuan since the evening of 18 April 2024, in response to prevailing weather conditions. While the airline works to restore normal operations as soon as possible, several Malaysia Airlines flights scheduled for 19 April 2024 have been cancelled with consideration for weather and operational safety. Full updates on this here
  • AirAsia has shared a list of flights on 19 April that are affected by the recent events, as well as a couple of options available to guests whose flights have been cancelled. Full updates on this here.

Photo: 123RF

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