Mount Ruang eruption: Sarawak government awaits guidance on potential airspace impact

Abang Johari (centre) speaking to the media during a Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house visit on April 18, 2024. Photo credit: Ukas

By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, April 19: The Sarawak government is awaiting advice from experts on how to respond to the State’s meteorological department’s (Met) warning that smoke may affect the region’s airspace following the eruption of Mount Ruang in northern Sulawesi.

According to a report made by the Public Communications Unit Sarawak (Ukas), Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised the need to wait for scientific advice before taking any actions.

Abang Johari said the plumes of smoke might not reach Kuching, but given Sulawesi’s proximity to these areas, they might affect northern regions of Sarawak like Limbang or Bintulu. Regions like Kota Kinabalu are also currently experiencing the effects due to the wind patterns.

To him, the concern lies in the release of particles from the eruption that could potentially affect air travel. If significant enough, this could pose risks to aviation safety, warranting precautionary measures.

“Actually, what we are worried about is its (smoke) particles; that’s why the aeroplane can’t fly because of the small particles. Let’s see what the scientists say first,” he said when he was met by the media at Sarawak Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunication, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house yesterday (April 18).

As of now, the Malaysia Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has not issued an updated notice regarding the smoke particles resulting from the volcanic eruption of Mount Ruang. Their recent statement, issued on April 18, indicated that there were no air pollution concerns at that time. — DayakDaily