インドネシア: one dead as Semeru volcano spews huge ash cloud

One person has died after the highest volcano on インドネシア’s most densely populated island of Java spewed thick columns of ash high into the sky, triggering panic among people living nearby.

As well as the fatality, the volcanic eruption of Mount Semeru in East Java province caused 41 burn injuries, said the deputy district chief of Lumajang, an area nearby.

Mount Semeru’s sudden eruption on Saturday left several villages around its slopes blanketed with falling ash.

The eruption was accompanied by a thunderstorm, which pushed lava and smouldering debris and formed thick mud that destroyed at least one bridge connecting two main villages of Pronojiwo and Candipuro, as well as hampering the evacuation, the Lumajang district head, Thoriqul Haq, told TVOne.

“Thick columns of ash have turned several villages to darkness,” Haq said, adding that several hundred people were moved to temporary shelters or left for other safe areas.

Television reports showed people running in panic under a huge ash cloud, their faces wet from rain mixed with volcanic dust. The 3,676-metre (12,060-フィート) Semeru had last erupted in January, with no casualties.

Authorities were setting up evacuation tents, the country’s disaster mitigation agency, BNPB, 前記. But evacuations have been hampered by thick smoke, its chief, Suharyanto, 前記.

AirNav インドネシア, which controls Indonesian airspace, said in a statement the eruption did not “cause significant impact” on flights. Semeru, the highest on Java island, is among Indonesia’s nearly 130 active volcanoes.

インドネシア, an archipelago of more than 270 百万人, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.

AP/Reuters

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