Indonesia’s National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said in a statement on Sunday that 98 people, including two pregnant women, were injured when the blast covered villages with ash and forced people to flee from garbage clouds.
At least 300 families have been evacuated following the eruption, according to Inda Amparawati, deputy leader of the Lumajang district near the volcano.
IIn its statement on Sunday, the BNPB said search and rescue efforts were ongoing but did not specify the number of missing.
Authorities have turned schools, mosques, village halls and village houses into evacuation centers.
Lumajang district vice-president Indah said most of the victims had been evacuated to the Penang Primary Health Center along with a resident who had died in the village of Kura Kobokan.
Emergency services could not reach many villages as roads were blocked by mud and fallen trees, India told a news conference.
Maj. Gen. TNI Suhriando, the leader of the BNPB, told a news conference that the army was asking for people and equipment to support the rescue operation.
Earlier on Saturday, Pudi Santosa, head of disaster management in East Java, said two sub-districts had been “badly affected” by the eruption.
The smell of volcanic ash and sulfur was there first It was reported at 3pm local time (3 ET) local time, according to the Mount Semeru Volcano Observatory. The station added that hot gray clouds were falling towards Sabitarang, a village in East Java in the Pronojivo district.
Videos shared by government emergency response teams showed residents in the area fleeing from large dense gray clouds. Other footage shared by locals showed people gathering at a local mosque in Besuk Copogan because of the blankets of smoke on the surrounding streets.
Santosha told a news conference that he hoped health facilities in the disaster area could accommodate victims at primary health centers or hospitals.
His team has been trying to conduct evacuations and prepare refugee camps to provide food, masks, blankets and shelter for displaced residents.
Indonesia sits between two continental plates known as the Ring of Fire, a band that surrounds the Pacific Ocean floor, leading to large-scale tectonic and volcanic activity.
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