Mount Semeru volcano erupts, Indonesia issue warning of highest level, evacuates people

Indonesia’s highest volcano on its most densely populated island of Java erupted, spewing large gas clouds and a river of lava, on early Sunday. This prompted the authorities to issue the highest level warning and begin the evacuation of at least 93 residents of East Java province to shelters, said the country’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB). According to the BNPB, the Mount Semeru volcano began erupting at 2:46 am (local time). Subsequently, the lava flowed from Semeru’s slopes, while the thick column of smoke reached at least 1.5 km in height and ash blanketed the nearby areas blocking out the sun, said reports. 

Gunungapi Semeru kembali muntahkan Awan Panas Guguran (APG) pada hari Minggu (4/12) sejak pukul 02.46 WIB, dengan kolom abu teramati berwarna kelabu dengan intensitas sedang hingga tebal ke arah tenggara dan selatan setinggi kurang lebih 1.500 meter di atas puncak. #Semeru #APG
— BNPB Indonesia (@BNPB_Indonesia) December 4, 2022

×Several hundred people have been moved to temporary shelters and safe areas, said Joko Sambang, head of the disaster management agency in Lumajang, East Java province. The increased activity, on Sunday afternoon, led the authorities to widen the danger zone from 5 km to 8 km from the mouth of the crater, said Hendra Gunawan, the head of Indonesia’s Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre (PVMBG). He added that people have also been asked to stay away from the southeastern part of the Besuk Kobokan River at the risk of encountering the path of the lava flow. Furthermore, the level of volcanic activity in the area was raised from level III to level IV, said the PVMBG chief. He also said that the hot ash clouds reached as far as 19 km from the site of the eruption.This comes after the island of Java witnessed a series of earthquakes on the west of the island. Semeru’s eruption in December last year had killed more than 50 people, left several missing, and thousands displaced. (With inputs from agencies) You can now write for and be a part of the community. Share your stories and opinions with us here.

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