Indonesia's Mount Semeru erupts; 1 dead, several evacuated

Indonesia's Mount Semeru erupted on Saturday, spewing out a tower of smoke and ash that plunged local communities into darkness.

Mount Semeru erupts

Indonesia's Mount Semeru erupted on Saturday, spewing out a tower of smoke and ash that plunged local communities into darkness and forced thousands of nearby residents to flee.

The eruption killed at least one person, leaving dozens with burns and forcing thousands of nearby residents to flee.

Two other people were reported missing and eight were trapped in debris, authorities said.

More than 300 families with children took shelter in badly hit Curah Kerobokan village in Lumajang in East Java after their houses were destroyed by volcanic ash and lava.

(Photograph:AFP)

Bridge destroyed

Rescuers moved to evacuate local residents as lava reached nearby villages and destroyed a bridge in Lumajang regency in East Java.

"A number of areas went dark after being covered by volcanic ash," agency spokesman Abdul Muhari said.

"We are building up some shelters in several locations in Lumajang," he added.

(Photograph:AFP)

Active volcanoes in Indonesia

Videos shared by the BNPB showed local residents running as towering smoke and ash blanketed some nearby villages in East Java province as volcanic ash and hot clouds were detected in the area.

Semeru is among Indonesia's nearly 130 active volcanoes.

(Photograph:AFP)

Pacific 'Ring of Fire'

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

In late 2018, a volcano in the strait between Java and Sumatra islands erupted, causing an underwater landslide and tsunami which killed more than 400 people.

(Photograph:AFP)

'Rapid condition since it erupted'

Thoriqul Haq, district head of Lumajang near Semeru, told Reuters that the road and bridge connecting Lumajang and the nearby city of Malang were severed.

"This has been a very pressing, rapid condition since it erupted," he said. Haq added that evacuations were underway, but did not give details.

(Photograph:AFP)

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