January 30, 2023

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XPAT PINOY – World News for Pinoys

Mount Semeru: Warning after volcanic eruption in Indonesia

CNN —

Indonesia raised its warning to the highest level on Sunday after Mount Semeru, a volcano in its East Java province, erupted, prompting the evacuation of nearby residents.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the volcano’s plume reached 15 kilometers (about 50,000 feet) into the air.

The agency said in a statement Sunday that it is monitoring the possibility of a tsunami, but that no significant changes in tide levels were observed at observation points in Japan and abroad.

Indonesia’s Disaster Management Board (BNPB) advised people not to carry out activities within a 5-kilometer radius from the top of Mount Semeru and said nearly 100 residents were evacuated.

So far there have been no reports of injuries or deaths.

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, said in a statement that the volcanic activity alert level had been raised from Level III to the highest Level IV.

BNPB said the eruption of Mount Semeru, located about 800 kilometers southeast of the capital Jakarta, began at 2:46 a.m. local time (2:46 p.m. ET Saturday) on Sunday. Videos shared by BNPB showed nearby villages covered in gray ash.

Evacuation of people, including children and elderly, living near the volcano in East Java province is underway. So far, 93 residents have been evacuated to emergency shelters, Indonesia’s civil protection agency BNPB said in a statement to Reuters news agency.

With the heightened alert level, authorities warned residents not to conduct any activities within 8 km (5 miles) of the Semeru eruption center, adding that hot ash plumes were as far as 11.8 miles (19 km) from the center of the eruption .

PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said the agency sees the potential for a greater supply of magma this year compared to previous eruptions in 2021 and 2020.

“Therefore, the hot clouds from Semeru (this year) could reach farther, and there are many dwelling places at that distance,” he said.

Mount Semeru: Warning after volcanic eruption in Indonesia

Java is the largest population center in Indonesia’s vast island archipelago and home to the capital Jakarta. Mount Semeru is the highest mountain in Java at over 12,000 feet.

The eruption in eastern Java follows a series of earthquakes in the west of the island, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

The deadly quake that struck Cianjur in West Java in late November was a shallow magnitude 5.6 tremor. A much stronger 6.1 magnitude quake in Gurat on Saturday caused people to run out of buildings but did no major damage.