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Thousands are on high alert in Java, Indonesia, after the eruption of Mt Semeru

Eruption of Mt Semeru

JAKARTA: On Monday, thousands of people in East Java, Indonesia, were on high alert after a strong eruption at the island’s highest volcano caused authorities to establish an 8-kilometer no-go zone and order the evacuation of whole communities

According to Tholib Vatelehan, a Basarnas official, the provincial search and rescue agency sent teams to the worst-hit districts close to Mount Semeru to survey damage, with low rainfall providing some relief.
“All of the materials from the mountain’s summit fell yesterday due to the heavy rains. However, there hasn’t been any rain today, so it’s reasonably safe “explained he.

There have been no injuries recorded, and aviation transport has not been significantly hampered.
The 3,676-meter volcano erupted on Sunday around 2:46 p.m. local time. Residents’ video captured Mt. Semeru ejecting a massive cloud of grey ash well over its crater, which subsequently swallowed the mountain and the nearby rice paddies, highways, and bridges, turning the sky black. The Environment Ministry posted a video of a pyroclastic flow of lava, boulders, and hot gases pouring down the slope on Twitter.
Nearly 2,500 individuals were compelled to flee the eruption, according to police, and many of them used motorbikes to do so.

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On Sunday, the agency responsible for mitigating volcanic and geological hazards in Indonesia upgraded the warning level for Mount Semeru to the highest level. Residents were also advised not to approach within 8 km (5 miles) of the top or 500 m of riverbanks owing to the possibility of lava flows, according to the agency. Last year, Semeru erupted, killing over 50 people while uprooting thousands more.

The eruption, which is located around 640 km (400 miles) east of Jakarta, comes after a string of quakes in Java’s western region, including one that killed more than 300 people last month.

Indonesia, a 270 million-strong island situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire, is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

Indonesia has 142 volcanoes, making it the country with the most people who live close to a volcano (8.6 million within 10 km) (6.2 miles).

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