January 27, 2023

Mount Semeru: Thousands Evacuated After Indonesia's Volcano Eruption

Mount Semeru: Thousands Evacuated After Indonesia’s Volcano Eruption


Jakarta, Indonesia
CNN

Indonesia Mount Semeru It erupted on Sunday, covering roads and homes in volcanic ash and prompting the evacuation of nearly 2,000 residents in East Java province, according to authorities in the country.

A statement issued Sunday by Indonesia’s Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said no injuries or deaths had been reported so far, and the evacuees had taken refuge in public facilities, including village halls and schools. She added that more than 20,000 face masks were distributed to mitigate the risks of volcanic ash to respiratory health.

Mount Semeru It is located about 640 kilometers away (400 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta, the eruption began at 2:46 a.m. local time Sunday (2:46 p.m. ET Saturday), according to the BNPB. Videos shared by the BNPB showed nearby villages covered in gray ash.

The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, said in a statement that the alert level for volcanic activity has been raised to the highest level 4.

The agency warned residents to stay at least 17 kilometers from the epicenter of the Semeru eruption, adding that volcanic ash reached a distance of 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) from the epicenter.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said a plume from the volcanic eruption rose 15 kilometers (about 49,200 feet) into the air. The agency said in a statement on Sunday that there was no tsunami impact in the aftermath of the eruption.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, sits on the “Ring of Fire,” a strip around the Pacific Ocean that experiences frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity.

At 3,676 meters (12,060 feet) high, Mount Semeru is the tallest volcano in Java – and one of the most active.

More than 50 people were killed and thousands more displaced when it erupted last year.

People take refuge in a community hall in Kandipuru village after the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in Lumagang, East Java on December 4, 2022.

Compared to the 2021 eruption, PVMBG President Hendra Gunawan said the agency saw the potential for a larger volume of magma from Sunday’s eruption.

“So the Semeru hot clouds could reach much further (this year) and at that distance there are many dwellings,” he said.

Rescue workers monitor the flow of volcanic material from the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano, in Lumagang, East Java, Indonesia, on December 4, 2022.

The eruption of the volcano in eastern Java on Sunday followed a series of earthquakes in the west of the island, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

The deadly November earthquake that struck Cianjur district in West Java was a shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6. Much deeper earthquake On Saturday in the town of Garut A magnitude of 6.1 sent people fleeing buildings but did not cause major damage.