JAKARTA: At least 3,614 houses were damaged by the eruption of Mount Ruang in the Sitaro Islands in North Sulawesi province last week, according to Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

Its spokesperson Abdul Muhari said the number of evacuees from two villages on the island had decreased to 3,582 people from the previous 6,045 people on Monday.

“About 834 residents cannot return because their homes around Mount Ruang were severely damaged, and those in Tagulandang remain in the evacuation zone,“ he said in a statement.

Local authorities urged residents and tourists near the area to remain cautious and avoid the four-kilometre radius from the active crater.

On Monday, the volcano’s status was lowered to Level III from Level IV by the country’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG).

Deputy of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction for BNPB, Jarwansyah, who has been at the affected site since April 18, confirmed that no casualties have been reported.

Operations at Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado, located approximately 95 kilometres from Mount Ruang, were disrupted starting last Thursday before resuming on Monday.