Rescue missions hampered as Indonesia's Mount Semeru erupts again

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 06, 2021, 03:32 PM(IST)

Mount Semeru erupts again Photograph:( Twitter )

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

Indonesia's Mount Semeru erupted again, spewing more ash and hampering rescue operations in the region. The first eruption took place on December 4, pushing local communities into darkness and forcing thousands to flee. 

According to reports by Indonesia's national disaster, nearly 27 people are still missing.

President Joko Widodo ordered a rapid emergency response to find victims, said state secretary Pratikno. Both villagers and rescuers worked through the night to find people and dead bodies. However, the rescue efforts were hampered after the latest eruption.

Rescuers moved to evacuate local residents after 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.

Rescue worker Rizal Purnama said, "There was a small fresh eruption and it could endanger the evacuation teams."

Also read | In Pics | Stormy weather hampers rescue operation in Indonesia after deadly eruption

She further highlighted how their task was made difficult. "It's very difficult... with simple tools. It is very likely bodies that have not been found are buried under the hot mudflow," she said.

Videos and images uploaded on social media show the devastation caused by the eruption. 

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Due to the bad air quality, locals have been advised not to travel within five kilometres of Semeru's crater as it affect vulnerable groups. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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