JAKARTA, Dec 5 – On Monday, authorities imposed an 8-kilometer no-go zone
Authorities ordered the evacuation of entire villages, placing thousands of residents in East Java, Indonesia, on high alert following a violent eruption at the island’s tallest volcano.
Tholib Vatelehan, a Basarnas spokesperson, told the source that the provincial search and rescue organization had sent teams to the worst-affected areas close to Mount Semeru to assess the damage, with the recent lack of rain providing some relief.
All the materials from the mountain’s summit fell yesterday due to the heavy rainfall. But today, he said, there hasn’t been any rain yet, so it’s relatively safe.
There were no casualties and air travel was not been significantly hampered. The 3,676-meter volcano erupted on Sunday at 2:46 p.m. local time.
Residents’ video captured Mt. Semeru erupting a massive cloud of grey ash high above its crater. The cloud later engulfed the mountain and the nearby rice paddy fields, roads, and bridges, turning the sky black.
The Environment Ministry posted a video of a pyroclastic flow of lava, rocks, and hot gases pouring down the mountainside on Twitter.
According to the authorities, 2,500 people were forced to flee the eruption and many used motorcycles. On Sunday, the agency in charge of mitigating geological and volcanic hazards in Indonesia raised the alert level for Mt. Semeru to the highest level.
Residents were advised not to approach within 8 km (5 miles) of the summit or 500 m of riverbanks due to the possibility of lava flows, said the agency.
Last year, Semeru eruption, killing over 50 people while uprooting thousands more. The eruption, located about 640 km (400 miles) east of Jakarta, comes after a string of quakes in Java’s western region, including one that killed more than 300 people last month.
Indonesia- a 270 million-strong archipelago along the Pacific Ring of Fire, is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries. Indonesia has 142 volcanoes, making it the country with the most people who live close to a volcano (8.6 million within 10 km) (6.2 miles).