Indonesia raises alert level over Semeru volcano eruption fears

Indonesia’s Geological Agency warns Mt. Semeru could burst again after earlier eruption on Dec. 4 left 48 people dead.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) – Indonesian authorities have raised the alert level to the second-highest on Java Island over fears that Semeru volcano may erupt again, the country’s Geological Agency said on Saturday.

The agency said that some activity has been detected in the active volcano which may trigger lava and flammable gases.

However, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif stated that 8 million cubic meters of sand coming out of the crater of the volcano blocked the Besuk Kobokan River on the lava path, and warned that if there is a new eruption, lava will spread further into the area.

A total of 48 people were killed after an explosion at the Semeru volcano on Dec. 4.

About 10,000 residents of the region were evacuated following the eruption.

The volcano spewed thick columns of ash thousands of meters into the sky and searing lava flowed down its slopes after heavy rains sparked the sudden eruption.

Several villages were blanketed with falling ash and houses were damaged by volcanic debris.

Mt. Semeru, which stands 3,676 meters (over 12,000 feet) above sea level, previously erupted in December 2020 and January this year.

Indonesia, an archipelago home to nearly 275 million people, sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an area with several fault lines that make it prone to frequent volcanic activities and earthquakes.


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