Indonesia raises volcano warning to highest after Semeru erupts, evacuates 90 people

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JAKARTA, Dec. 4 (Reuters) – Indonesian authorities on Sunday raised the warning for the Semeru volcano on the island of Java to the highest level after an eruption spewed a column of ash high into the air.

The evacuation of people, including children and seniors, living near the volcano in East Java province had also begun with 93 residents evacuated to shelters so far, Indonesia’s disaster relief agency said, BNPB said in a statement. declaration.

The volcano’s plume reached an elevation of 50,000 feet (15 km), said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which is monitoring the possibility of a tsunami there.

The eruption in the eastern part of Java, some 640 km (400 mi) east of the capital Jakarta, follows a series of earthquakes in the west of the island, including one last month that killed more than 300 people. .

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Risk Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity from III to IV, the chief said in a text message.

With the heightened alert level, authorities warned residents not to conduct any activities within 8km (5 miles) of the Semeru eruption center, adding that hot ash clouds had reached as far as 11.8 miles (19km) from the eruption center .

PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said the agency saw the potential for a greater supply of magma this year compared to previous eruptions in 2021 and 2020.

“Therefore, Semeru’s hot clouds can reach farther (this year) and there are many dwellings at that distance,” he said.

Around the same time last year, the eruption of Semeru, Java’s highest mountain, killed more than 50 people and left several missing, while displacing thousands.

Some residents in the area have independently evacuated to safer buildings such as mosques and schools, according to a statement from the regional government of Lumajang, where Semeru is located.

“Most roads have been closed since this morning. Now volcanic ash is raining down and has covered the view of the mountain,” Bayu Deny Alfianto, a local volunteer, told Reuters by phone.

Small eruptions continued and it rained in the area, he said.

The volcano began erupting at 2:46 a.m. (1946 GMT on Saturday), BNPB said in a statement. Videos posted to social media showed gray ash clouds in nearby areas.

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the largest population in the world living near a volcano, including 8.6 million within a 10 km (6 mi) radius.

The deadly quake that hit Cianjur in West Java in late November was a shallow quake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale. A much deeper 6.1-magnitude quake in Gurat on Saturday sent people running from buildings but caused no major damage.

Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman and Angie Teo in Jakarta; Additional reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto in Tokyo; Edited by William Mallard and Lincoln Feast

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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