- There are reports of one fatality and multiple injuries after the Semeru volcano erupted on the island of Java in Indonesia.
- The Semeru volcanic eruption has forced hundreds of residents of nearby areas to flee quickly with just the clothes on their backs.
- Authorities also reported that there are two people missing and that eight workers from a quarry were trapped under the rubble.
Authorities reported one fatality and multiple injuries following the eruption of the Semeru volcano on the island of Java, Indonesia. The incident forced hundreds of nearby residents to flee quickly to safety with just the clothes on their backs.
This Saturday, the Semeru volcano, located in the Indonesian province of East Java, erupted and instilled fear among the population. The citizens fled in terror before the ashes and gas could trap them, but worse news is yet to come.
Reported fatality and multiple injuries after Semeru volcanic eruption
Mount Semeru is the highest mountain on the island of Java that is home to this dangerous volcano. Once authorities gained access to its exterior amid columns of ash, gas and rivers of lava, they offered a first report of damage. They have reported at least one fatality.
So far, a villager has died from burns, and 41 other people were also injured with burns of varying degrees. Dozens of people on Indonesia’s most densely populated island have had to be hospitalized.
The bad news continues to come in, because the authorities also reported that there are two people missing and that eight workers from a quarry were trapped under the rubble left by the volcanic eruption, LaSexta.com reported.
Indah Masdar, the deputy chief of the town of Lumajang, announced in a press conference that hundreds of citizens were forced to escape with only what they were wearing when the volcano erupted. “We hope we can rescue them soon. Their families are crying, eager to know their fate,” he said of the trapped employees.
Extremely complex rescues
The weather conditions are only getting worse. Heavy rains on Saturday have not only caused the volcano to erupt suddenly but have flooded the region in dense mud and put a bridge at risk of collapse, making rescue extremely difficult, said Suharyanto, head of the National for Disaster Management.
“Even SUVs have trouble driving,” said the official. In addition, the volcano has been left a layer of ash on several neighboring villages, and entire houses in the town of Curah Kobokan were completely damaged by volcanic debris, the Associated Press reported.
How did the eruption occur?
Eko Budi Lelono, who heads the geological studies center for the area, said that days of stormy rain eroded the lava dome at 3,676 meters in the Semeru cup. It collapsed and finally erupted, brutally expelling gas and lava.
Thoriqul Haq, director of the Lumajang district, said that, “thick columns of ash have darkened several villages,” after the volcano erupted. Authorities have asked citizens to stay at least 5 kilometers away from the volcanic debris.
About the Ring of Fire
Indonesia is located on the so-called Ring of Fire in the Pacific, so earthquakes and volcanic eruptions often occur. In addition, Mount Semeru already erupted last December, so authorities had kept kept the alert and level three (out of four).
Videos on social media showed people screaming and running, trying to get away from the wave of ash that was coming after them. Hundreds of citizens have had to be evacuated and taken to temporary shelters or safe areas, the news agency reported. SEE VIDEO HERE.
Everyone began running
“Thick plumes of ash have darkened several villages,” Haq said, adding that several hundred people were transferred to temporary shelters or went to safe areas. Television showed people running in panic under a huge cloud of ash, their faces wet from rain mixed with volcanic dust.
The 3,676-meter (12,060-foot) Semeru last erupted in January, with no casualties. Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Where did the residents stay?
Images of the precise moment when the ash columns completely covered the nearest town and how people ran in terror in fear of being hit were shared on social media. Despite the spectacular nature of the event, no fatalities or injured people were reported, although they were evacuated.
Most of the people had to stay in temporary shelters during the crisis. Authorities are continuing surveillance and remediation work, in addition to monitoring the volcano’s conditions to avoid being surprised by another explosion of the same magnitude as this Saturday.
No longer running, THEY DIDN’T ESCAPE THE WORST
Emergency personnel immediately went to the scene, and the first thing they did was protect the residents and evacuate them. Children, women, and men of all ages were surprised by the loud noise. They feared for their lives but managed to run.
The images are shocking. In the background, you can see the columns of ash that advance toward the town, threatening to cover everything in their path while people run, scream, and cry, not knowing what to do other than get as far away as possible from the smoke. There was no way to protect themselves other than to run away until the cloud of smoke dispersed. To see the video click here.
Lava river threatening the church
Just three days ago, on Wednesday, in another part of the world, a new river of lava from the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma threatened to submerge a parish church that has so far survived an eruption that shows no signs of abating after 10 weeks. The lava flow to the church of Los Llanos de Aridane has slowed since the end of the week but is barely a kilometer away.
Melted rock from the eruption that began on September 19 in La Palma, part of the Canary Islands archipelago, has consumed more than 1,500 buildings and covered more than 1,130 hectares of land that includes banana plantations, the area’s main source of income along with the tourism. In a nearby cemetery, lava has buried the remains of 3,000 people for the second time.
What caused the lava jet?
A fissure that, according to volcanologists, expelled a jet of lava left a huge hole in front of a house whose ground floor was completely covered by a mountain of ash. The mayor of Los Llanos de Aridane, Noelia García, said that the new rivers of lava are going over the previous ones that have hardened. But she does not dare to make forecasts about the route they will follow.
Seismic activity has increased in recent days. The National Geographic Institute registered 341 tremors in the last 24 hours. The eruption has displaced thousands of inhabitants but has caused no deaths on the archipelago’s westernmost island off the northwestern coast of Africa. Reports of fatality and multiple injuries after Semeru volcanic eruption.
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