Indonesia evacuates villagers as volcano erupts on Java island | Inquirer News

Indonesia evacuates villagers as volcano erupts on Java island

/ 07:22 AM December 05, 2022
Mount Semeru volcano erupts volcanic ash as seen from Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

Mount Semeru volcano erupts volcanic ash as seen from Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2022. Antara Foto/National Disasters Mitigation Agency (BNPB)/ via REUTERS

JAKARTA — A volcano erupted in Indonesia on Sunday spewing a cloud of ash 15 km into the sky and forcing the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people, authorities said, as they issued their highest warning for the area in the east of Java island.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties from the eruption of the Semeru volcano and Indonesia’s transport ministry said that there was no impact on air travel but notices had been sent to two regional airports for vigilance.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Most roads have been closed since this morning and now it is raining volcanic ash and it has covered the view of the mountain,” community volunteer Bayu Deny Alfianto told Reuters by telephone from near the volcano.

Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java, erupted last year killing more than 50 people and displacing thousands.

FEATURED STORIES

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said 1,979 people had been moved to 11 shelters and authorities had distributed masks to residents. The eruption began at 2:46 a.m. and rescue, search, and evacuation efforts were going on.

The volcano’s plume of ash reached a height of 15 km, said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which had initially been on alert for the possibility that the volcano could trigger a tsunami. It later ruled that out.

The eruption, some 640 km east of the capital, Jakarta, follows a series of earthquakes in the west of Java, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity to its highest level and warned residents not to approach within 8 km of Semeru’s eruption center.

Hot ash clouds had drifted nearly 19 km from the center of the eruption, it said.

PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said a bigger volume of magma could have built up compared with previous eruptions of the volcano, in 2021 and 2020, which could mean greater danger for a bigger area.

“Semeru’s hot clouds could reach further and at a distance where there are many residences,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a video sent to Reuters by police in the area, villagers were seen moving away from the slopes of the volcano, some with belongings stacked on motorbikes. A damaged bridge was covered in volcanic ash.

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world’s largest population living close range to volcanoes, with 8.6 million people within 10 km of one.

The deadly late-November quake that hit in West Java was 5.6 magnitude but at a shallow depth. A 6.1 quake struck at a deeper depth on Saturday sending people running from buildings but it did not cause major damage or casualties.

READ: Indonesia raises volcano warning to highest after Semeru erupts, evacuation underway

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Inquirer calls for support for the victims of Taal volcano eruption
Responding to appeals for help, the Inquirer is extending its relief to the families affected by the recent eruption of Taal volcano.
Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860.
Inquiries may be addressed and emailed to Inquirer’s Corporate Affairs office through [email protected]
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Eruption, Indonesia, Java, Volcano
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.