Volcano erupts on same Indonesian island as earlier earthquake

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A volcano erupted Wednesday morning on the same central Indonesian island as an earlier earthquake and authorities warned planes about volcanic ash in the air.

Mount Soputan in North Sulawesi province spewed ash 6,000 meters (19,700 feet) into the sky Wednesday morning. No evacuations were immediately ordered.

A government volcanologist said it's possible the eruption was accelerated by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Central Sulawesi on Friday.

"It could be that this earthquake 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 Mitigation agency, told online news portal Tempo.

Kasbani, who uses one name, said volcanic activity had been increasing at Soputan since August and began surging Monday.

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Aftermath of earthquake in Palu, Indonesia
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Aftermath of earthquake in Palu, Indonesia
A ship is seen stranded on the shore after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area in Wani, Donggala, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia October 1, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Muhammad Adimaja/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sand is placed over dead bodies of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami during a mass burial at the Poboya Cemetery in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An aerial view of an area devestated by an earthquake in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia October 1, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/ Hafidz Mubarak A/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Survivors rest outside the airport as they wait to get a flight out of Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Indonesian volunteers began burying bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people on October 1, victims of a quake-tsunami that devastated swathes of Sulawesi and left authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A search and rescue team evacuates a victim from the ruins of the Roa-Roa Hotel in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia September 30, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/BNPB/ via REUTERS. THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT.
Motorists pass over a temporary bridge over a cracked road in Palu, in Central Sulawesi, on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Mass graves were being readied on October 1 for hundreds of victims of the Indonesian quake and tsunami as authorities battled to stave off disease and reach desperate people still trapped under shattered buildings. (Photo by BAY ISMOYO / AFP) (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)
A search and rescue team evacuates a victim from the ruins of the Roa-Roa Hotel in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia September 30, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/BNPB/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT.
TOPSHOT - People drive past a washed up boat and collapsed buildings in Palu on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Mass graves were being readied on October 1 for hundreds of victims of the Indonesian quake and tsunami as authorities battled to stave off disease and reach desperate people still trapped under shattered buildings. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue team members carry the dead body of a paraglider near the ruins of Roa-Roa hotel after the earthquake in Palu, in Indonesia's Sulawesi Island, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A rescue team member walks in front of the ruins of Roa-Roa Hotel after earthquake hit in Palu, Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A ship is seen stranded on the shore after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area in Wani, Donggala, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia October 1, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Muhammad Adimaja/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
SOUTH PALU, PALU, CENTER SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 2018/10/02: Rescue team members are seen working on Roa-Roa hotel after the earthquake. A deadly earthquake measuring 7.7 magnitude and the tsunami wave caused by it has destroyed the city of Palu and much of the area in Central Sulawesi. According to the officials, death toll from devastating quake and tsunami rises to 1,347, around 800 people in hospitals are seriously injured and some 62,000 people have been displaced in 24 camps around the region. (Photo by Hariandi Hafid/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PALU, INDONESIA - OCTOBER 1, 2018: Search and Rescue Officers are seen searching for victims of earthquakes and tsunamis that have been hit by the RoaRoa Hotel building by flashing the gap with portable lighting in Palu, Indonesia on October 1, 2018. (Photo credit should read RIAU IMAGES / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
An aerial view of liquefaction, or shifting ground, following an earthquake in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 1, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken October 1, 2018. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/ via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
PALU, INDONESIA - OCTOBER 1: Ambulances are prepared to evacuate victims hit by the Roa Roa Hotel building which collapsed due to the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred on October 01, 2018 in Palu, Indonesia. PHOTOGRAPH BY Riau Images / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read RIAU IMAGES / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Local residents affected by the earthquake and tsunami retrieve gasoline at a gas station in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
PALU, INDONESIA - OCTOBER 02: A man stands on a destroyed car as he views the rubble and debris of destroyed buildings following an earthquake, on October 02, 2018 in Palu, Indonesia. Indonesias disaster response agency confirmed on Tuesday that the death toll from Fridays earthquake and tsunami has reached at least 1,234 people while fears that the death toll could rise again. A tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake slammed into Indonesia's coastline on the island of Sulawesi as people are increasingly growing desperate for food, fuel, and water, while emergency services fear that survivors may still be trapped under the rubble. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Survivors walk on a damaged street outside Palu in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 2, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - The Indonesian government on October 2 said the death toll from a devastating quake-tsunami on the island of Sulawesi had risen to 1,234 people, up from the previous count of 844. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
This aerial photo shows Indonesian soldiers burying quake victims in a mass grave in Poboya in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 2, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - The Indonesian government on October 2 said the death toll from a devastating quake-tsunami on the island of Sulawesi had risen to 1,234 people, up from the previous count of 844. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - People walk along a damaged road in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Indonesian volunteers began burying bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people on October 1, victims of a quake-tsunami that devastated swathes of Sulawesi and left authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. (Photo by Adek BERRY / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
Survivors ride past debris in a devastated area in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Indonesian volunteers began burying bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people on October 1, victims of a quake-tsunami that devastated swathes of Sulawesi and left authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
People search for valuable items at a mall that was hit by a tsunami, which was triggered by an earthquake on September 28, in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018. - Indonesian volunteers began burying bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people on October 1, victims of a quake-tsunami that devastated swathes of Sulawesi and left authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. (Photo by Adek BERRY / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A woman walks through a devastated area in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Indonesian volunteers began burying bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people on October 1, victims of a quake-tsunami that devastated swathes of Sulawesi and left authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. (Photo by Adek BERRY / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A survivor looks at debris in a devastated area in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Indonesian volunteers began burying bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people on October 1, victims of a quake-tsunami that devastated swathes of Sulawesi and left authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
PALU, INDONESIA - OCTOBER 01: A man squeezes out from beneath a car that has been wedged into a building by a tsunami, on October 01, 2018 in Palu, Indonesia. Over 844 people have been confirmed dead after a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake slammed into Indonesia's coastline on the island of Sulawesi, causing thousands of homes to collapse, along with hospitals, hotels and shopping centers. Emergency services fear that the death toll could rise into the thousands as rescue teams made contact with the nearby cities of Donggala and Mamuju and strong aftershocks continue to rock the city. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Survivors loot a clothing store in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Indonesian volunteers began burying bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people on October 1, victims of a quake-tsunami that devastated swathes of Sulawesi and left authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A survivor salvages useable items from debris in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Indonesian volunteers began burying bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people on October 1, victims of a quake and tsunami that devastated swathes of Sulawesi and left authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
PALU, INDONESIA - OCTOBER 01: The elderly wait to board an aircraft at the airport in Palu which has re-opened after an earthquake triggered a tsunami in the area on October 01, 2018 in Palu, Indonesia. Over 832 people have been confirmed dead after a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake slammed into Indonesia's coastline on the island of Sulawesi, causing thousands of homes to collapse, along with hospitals, hotels and shopping centers. Emergency services fear that the death toll could rise into the thousands as rescue teams made contact with the nearby cities of Donggala and Mamuju and strong aftershocks continue to rock the city. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
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Nazli Ismail, a geophysicist at University of Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh on Sumatra island, stressed there was no concrete evidence to show they are linked.

"People talk about the butterfly effect. The concept is that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it can cause a catastrophe," he said. "So it is possible for the earthquake to trigger the volcano eruption, but it's not conclusive. This needs to be further investigated."

Nazri said the Soputan volcano eruption isn't surprising as Indonesia sits on the seismically active Pacific "Ring of Fire," and Soputan is one of the most active volcanoes on the island.

Soputan's eruption status was raised from an alert to standby 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the summit and up to 6.5 kilometers to the west-southwest. Standby status means the public should avoid the area nearest the volcano and have masks available in the event of ashfall.

Planes were warned of the ash clouds because volcanic ash is hazardous for their engines.

The earthquake in Central Sulawesi set off a tsunami and has devastated several communities.

Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 250 million people and government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.

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