SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 31 January 2023, Tuesday |

Thousands on alert in Indonesia’s Java after Mt. Semeru eruption

As a result of a powerful eruption from the island’s largest volcano, which forced authorities to establish an 8-kilometer no-go zone and order the evacuation of entire communities, thousands of people in East Java, Indonesia, were on high alert on Monday.

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.

No casualties have been reported and there has not been any immediate disruption to air travel.

The 3,676-metre volcano erupted at 2.46pm local time on Sunday (0746GMT). Footage shot by local residents showed Mt. Semeru spewing a giant cloud of grey ash high above its crater, which later engulfed the mountain and surrounding rice paddy fields, roads and bridges, and turned the sky black. A video shared by the Environment Ministry on Twitter showed a pyroclastic flow of lava, rocks and hot gases gushing down the mountainside.

People fled the eruption on motorcycles, with almost 2,500 people forced to evacuate, authorities said.

Indonesia’s volcanology and geological hazard mitigation agency on Sunday raised the alert level for Mt. Semeru to the highest level. The agency also issued a warning to residents not to approach within 8 km (5 miles) of the summit, or 500 metres of riversides due to risks of lava flows.

Semeru erupted last year killing more than 50 people and displacing thousands more.

As a result of a powerful eruption from the island’s largest volcano, which forced authorities to establish an 8-kilometer no-go zone and order the evacuation of entire communities, thousands of people in East Java, Indonesia, were on high alert on Monday.

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.

    Source:
  • Reuters