Indonesia: Over 2000 residents were displaced due to eruption of Mount Semeru

 Monday, December 5, 2022 

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Over 2,000 residents in Indonesia were displaced Sunday due to the eruption of Mount Semeru in the East Java Province, affecting nearby villages and sending citizens into temporary shelters.

According to regional disaster management officials, at least 2,219 people were forced to flee as of Sunday after the eruption. There have been no reports of casualties thus far with national officials teaming up with volunteers and other agencies to make rescue, search and evacuation efforts. A total of 11 evacuation points were created in the province, part of Java Island, which is the world’s most populous island with a total population of over 148 million.

A spokesperson for Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency stated that Mount Semeru, the country’s highest volcano, erupted due to monsoon rains eroding and eventually collapsing the lava dome. Several villages had the sun blocked out Sunday due to falling ash covering the sky, with the ash columns reaching nearly 5,000 feet into the sky. Lava and gas flowed down the slopes of the 12,060-foot volcano toward a nearby river.

The volcano has a history of eruption, including a December 2021 major eruption that left 51 dead and hundreds of others with major burns. Last year’s eruption forced over 10,000 people to evacuate in Java.

In response to the eruption, the country’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised the alert status of the volcano, stating that observed hot clouds, typically containing a mix of gas, ash and rock debris, fell over 7 miles from the summit and were still ongoing Sunday. The agency also told residents not to be within 5 miles of the crater due to the danger of hot stones and to keep away from the southeastern sector along the Besuk Kobokan River that is in the path of the lava flow.

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