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At least 14 dead after the eruption of the Mount Semeru volcano


At least 14 people have died and thousands are displaced after the volcano erupted in Indonesia's East Java province.

Watch Indonesia's Semeru volcano erupt 0:51

(CNN) -

At least 14 people have died and thousands are displaced after Mount Semeru, a volcano in Indonesia's East Java province, erupted on Saturday, authorities said.

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Board (BNPB) said in a statement Sunday that the eruption had injured 98 other people, including two pregnant women, after it covered villages in ash and left people fleeing the billowing clouds. debris.

At least 300 families were evacuated after the eruption, according to Indah Amperawati, deputy director of the Lumajang district, an area near the volcano.

In its statement Sunday, the BNPB said search and rescue efforts were ongoing, but did not specify the number of people they have reported missing.

Authorities say the situation on Mount Semeru remains dangerous due to the risk of pyroclastic flows, a mix of ash, rocks and volcanic gases that can be much more dangerous than lava.


"We recommend that everyone increase their alert because the threat potential of pyroclastic flows remains high. It can happen at any time without any warning," the head of the Mount Semeru Observation Post, Liswanto, told CNN on Sunday.

Liswanto said Sunday that his team recorded two pyroclastic flow events.

The first was at 5 am local time and the second at 10 am local time.

The deadly volcanic material rolled into the village of Curah Kobokan, which was evacuated on Saturday.

They have urged people who live up to 10 kilometers away from the volcano to evacuate, as the pyroclastic flows "are very hot, the temperature can reach more than 1000 degrees Celsius," Liswanto said.

Since there are no signals or methods to predict when the pyroclastic flow will occur, the phenomenon can be very dangerous, Liswanto said.

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Indonesia's Mount Semeru volcano erupted, causing evacuations and power outages this Saturday

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At least one person died and 41 others were injured by the volcano's eruption.

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A villager passes the motorcycles of evacuees covered in volcanic ash in the village of Sumberurip, in Lumajang, on December 4, 2021, after the eruption of the Semeru volcano.

(PUTRI / AFP photo via Getty Images)

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Evacuees take refuge in a safe classroom of a school in the village of Sumberurip, Lumajang, on December 4, 2021, after the eruption of the Semeru volcano.

(Photo by PUTRI / AFP)

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Dead cattle in an area covered in volcanic ash in the village of Sumber Wuluh, in Lumajang, on December 5, 2021, after the eruption of the Semeru volcano.

Credit: JUNI KRISWANTO / AFP via Getty Images

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Villagers and rescuers inspect an area covered in volcanic ash in the village of Sumber Wuluh, in Lumajang, on December 5, 2021, in an attempt to find survivors or bodies after the eruption of the Semeru volcano.

Credit: JUNI KRISWANTO / AFP via Getty Images

Evacuations in progress

A rescue volunteer in Indonesia's Lumajang district told CNN on Sunday that he and his team evacuated the bodies of six miners from a river in the village of Curah Kobokan, where they were mining sand on the riverbank.

Some of the miners were still inside their vehicles, while others were discovered lying on the ground near the trucks, 32-year-old volunteer Muhammad Firman Adiguna Effasa said.

It is not clear if those six deaths are part of the 14 deaths that authorities previously announced.

He added that he was concerned that there might still be more miners or other victims, but that they would not survive because the lava flood was so intense.

Authorities have transformed schools, mosques, town halls and village houses into evacuation centers, according to the statement.

Java is the largest population center in the huge Indonesian archipelago of islands and is home to the capital city of Jakarta.

At more than 3,600 meters high, Mount Semeru is the highest mountain in Java.

Lumajang District Deputy Director Indah said most of the burn victims have been evacuated to the Penanggal Primary Health Center along with a resident who died in Curah Kobokan village.

Emergency services have been unable to reach several other villages because roads are blocked by mud and fallen trees, Indah said at the press conference.

The armed forces were called in for people and equipment to support the rescue efforts, Major General TNI Suharyanto, head of the BNPB, said at the press conference.

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After arriving at the scene on Sunday, Suharyanton said that gathering information on the number of victims and displaced has been difficult, and that the exact number of victims and displaced is still unclear.

Budi Santosa, head of disaster management for the East Java province, said on Saturday that two sub-districts had been "badly affected" by the volcano's eruption.

Volcanic ash and the smell of sulfur were first reported around 3 p.m. local time (3 a.m. Miami time), according to the Mount Semeru Volcano Observation Post.

The station added that hot ash clouds were falling towards an East Javanese village, Sapitarang, in the Pronojiwo district.

Mount Semeru spews ash into the air during an eruption on Saturday.

Videos shared by government emergency response teams showed area residents fleeing huge, thick clouds of ash.

Other images shared by locals showed people gathering at a local mosque in Besuk Kobokan as smoke covered the surrounding streets.

Santosa said at the press conference that he believed that health facilities in the disaster area, be it primary health centers or hospitals, could house the victims.

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His team tries to carry out evacuations and set up refugee camps in the area, which would provide food, masks, blankets and shelter for displaced residents.

Indonesia sits between two continental plates in what is known as the Ring of Fire, a band around the Pacific Ocean basin that leads to high levels of tectonic and volcanic activity.

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-12-05

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