A volcano located on an Indonesian island erupted today morning just days after that island saw massive devastation due an natural disaster and a subsequent tsunami.
After months of increased seismic activity, the Soputan volcano finally blew off steam on Wednesday morning, sending an ash column as high as 4,000 meters into the air.
The 7.5-magnitude quake last Friday triggered tsunami waves as high as six meters (20 feet), which swept ashore at the small city of Palu and Donggala town on the west coast of Sulawesi.
"It could be that this quake triggered the eruption, but the direct correlation has yet to be seen as there had been an increase in the Mount Soputan activity", Kasbani, the head of Indonesia's vulcanology and geology disaster response agency, told Tempo, an online news portal. President Donald Trump called Widodo on Tuesday to offer assistance with both the emergency phase and reconstruction. Almost 62,000 people have been displaced from their homes, Nugroho said.
She'd come from Balaroa, a neighborhood of several hundred houses in Palu that was turned upside down by the quake and where residents still remain buried beneath the rubble. As of Wednesday, 1,407 people were confirmed dead and more than 70,000 made homeless, while fears for the fate of those.
"The president is not hearing about the remote areas, only about the tsunami and about Palu", he said. "Every province has different cases, including security".
Following widespread looting and aid vehicles being stopped and surrounded by people on roads, Indonesian military chief Hadi Tjahyanto said one soldier and one police officer would be placed on every aid truck and soldiers would be sent to secure markets, the airport and fuel depots to maintain order.
"We have to do this because there's no assistance from the government", said Zaitun Rajamangili, 41, adding his home was swept away but his family survived.
He said every vehicle carrying supplies would now be guarded by five armed soldiers.
"There is still limited information about the full extent of the disaster and it is hard to get aid and people into the affected areas", Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the main United Nations aid coordinating agency, OCHA, said in Geneva on Tuesday.
Singapore, South Korea, the UK, India and Japan have all offered C-130 military transport planes to help deliver supplies and help with evacuations.
Teams continued searching for survivors under destroyed homes and buildings.
"We really need fuel for a generator so we can boil water for drinking and washing", he said.
More than 50 Australian medical professionals will be sent to Indonesia to help in the aftermath, as part of a $5 million aid package.
Indonesia's 17,000 islands are prone to earthquakes because the country straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire - an arc of fault lines and volcanoes that causes frequent seismic upheavals. A powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people in August.