Indonesian Volcano Erupts Leaving One Dead, Dozens Injured

Published December 5th, 2021 - 07:40 GMT
Indonesia's most active volcano erupts killing one
Lava flows down from Mount Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano, as seen on a misty night from Tunggularum in Sleman early on October 21, 2021. (Photo by AGUNG SUPRIYANTO / AFP)
Highlights
One person has died and 41 people are injured from burns, officials have said

One person passed away and 41 others were injured from burns following a volcano eruption on the Indonesian island of Java for the second time in months.  

A rain of volcanic ash from Mt Semeru is blotting out the sun in two regions, according to witnesses and a monitoring body issued a warning of an ash cloud rising up to 50,000 ft to airlines.

Evacuations are underway, officials have said today.  

Videos shared on social media show residents screaming as they run away from the ominous plume and others finding shelter from a rain of falling ash.

In some areas the sky has turned dark and infrastructure has been damaged. 

The eruption took place at about 2.30pm local time. Local authorities have set up a restricted zone of three miles from the crater after it happened.

Thoriqul Haq, a local official, told Reuters that the eruption has been a 'very pressing, rapid condition'.

A road and bridge from the area to the nearby city of Malang had been severed in the aftermath as residents are trying to flee. 

Campbell Biggs, a meteorologist at The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), told the BBC that the ash cloud was higher than the cruising altitude for most aircraft and may cause diversions. 

 

He added it should slowly vanish.  

Most planes are likely to try avoid getting caught up in its path as ash that solidifies on the cooler parts of the engine can stall or fail engines if airflow is disrupted.

Pilots' visibility and the air quality in cabins is also affected. 

The centre said the ash was drifting south-west over the Indian ocean after appearing to have detached from the volcano's summit.

Mt Semeru, one of Indonesia's some 130 active volcanoes, regularly spewed up ash up to around 14,100 ft, meaning that today's eruption is unusual in severity, Mr Biggs also said.

The volcano sits 12,000ft above sea level and last erupted in December 2020.

It then spewed thick columns of ash high into the sky, triggering panic among people living nearby and leaving several villages blanketed with falling ash.

However there were no immediate reports of casualties but evacuation was hampered. 

The eruption was accompanied by a thunderstorm and rain, which combined with lava and smouldering debris and formed thick mud that destroyed at least one bridge connecting two main villages of Pronojiwo and Candipuro. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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