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Volcanic eruption forces mass evacuation in Indonesia

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A volcano has erupted in Indonesia spewing a cloud of ash 15 km into the sky and forcing the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people.

The eruption, some 640 km (400 miles) 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 disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said 1,979 people had been moved to 11 shelters and authorities had distributed masks to residents.

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 (5 miles) of Semeru’s eruption centre.

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.

Also Read: Earthquake: Nigeria Commiserates With Indonesia

There were no immediate reports of any casualties from the eruption of the Semeru volcano.

Indonesia’s transport ministry also said there was no impact on air travel but notices had been sent to two regional airports for vigilance.

“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 said.

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

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world’s largest population living close range to volcanoes, with 8.6 million people within 10 km (6 miles) of one.

 

Zainab Sa’id

Source Reuters
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