500 people flee following volcano eruption in Indonesia

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As per the National Disaster Management Agency, around 550 individuals have fled from their homes on Tuesday after the Semeru volcano on Indonesia’s main Java Island erupted, spewing incandescent magma and smoke.

Raditya Jati, an agency spokesperson said that 300 of these people were shifted to an observation post, and the rest to calamity shelters, reports Xinhua news agency. The volcano, located in the Lumajang district of the East Java province in Indonesia, erupted at 1.23 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1. The volcano released magma up to 1 km and thick smoke up to 11 km towards the Besok Kobokan area, southeast of the summit.  At 3 a.m. it was noticed that a downpour was occurring leading to the rain water mixing with the volcanic ash around the observation post. “We estimate this condition happened due to the quite strong potential hot lava,” Jati said.

Currently, the status of the volcano’s activity is at the second-highest level or Caution.  Supiturang, Oro-oro Ombo, Rowobaung and Sumberwuluh, all in the Lumajang district, are the villages affected by the volcanic activities.

“There are several urgent needs, such as ready-to-eat foods, public kitchens, and masks,” Jati said.

Taking measures to tackle any chances of fatality, the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation has told local residents not to venture into any activities in the dangerous zone within a radius of 1 km from the volcano’s summit, and of 4 km on its south-southeast slope. The Indonesian authorities have distributed 4,000 masks to local residents and arranged a field evacuation post. Semeru is the highest mountain on the island of Java and is also one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country.

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