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Is The Claims of Sulphur Dioxide Spread from Mount Ruang True?

Gunung Ruang Erupsi

Recently, the online community has been stirred by viral claims that the eruption of Mount Ruang in North Sulawesi has led to widespread dispersal of sulphur dioxide (SO2), potentially causing acid rain across Indonesia. These claims have rapidly spread via social media, particularly TikTok, but it is essential to verify their accuracy with precise scientific data.

The eruption of Mount Ruang on 16 April 2024 indeed raised environmental concerns, especially regarding the emission of SO2. According to Sofyan Primulyana, a Senior Earth Investigator at the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), the concentration of SO2 emitted by the volcano greatly depends on the conditions of the magma and the intensity of the eruption. These conditions can vary and do not always indicate the same level of danger in every area.

Social media, especially TikTok, has become a frequent platform for disseminating quick information that may not be accurate. For instance, videos showing data from are often perceived as proof of SO2 spread, yet it's crucial to remember that this data represents predictive models that can differ from actual conditions. does show concentrations of SO2 in several areas, but both BMKG and PVMBG stress that this data cannot be considered conclusive without further verification. Information from must be corroborated with direct observations and data collected from ground monitoring stations.

It is also important to understand that although high concentrations of SO2 can be harmful, this gas is generally diluted in the atmosphere. The actual effects of SO2 released into the atmosphere are usually limited to the area around the eruption and do not extend to regions far away without specific atmospheric conditions that support wide dispersal.

Additionally, geological experts add that the interaction of SO2 with water vapour in the atmosphere forms acidic droplets that have local impacts, unlike the global dangers often hyped on social media.

From the analysis above, it is clear that the claims regarding the widespread dispersal of SO2 from Mount Ruang causing acid rain across Indonesia are more myth than fact. The public is advised to rely on information from official sources such as BMKG and PVMBG and not be influenced by unverified information. Being vigilant and critical of viral news is key to avoiding unnecessary panic.


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