Hundreds of people evacuate from Mount Semeru volcano in Java, Indonesia as it erupts and exudes lava and ash.
Locals fled from homes when the rumbling volcano started spewing hot ash up to thousands of meters out into the atmosphere. It also belched dangerous lava from its crater.
Erupting Mount Semeru
The active volcano Mount Semeru is located on the island of Java in Indonesia. Yesterday, it spewed a high column that prompted the call to evacuate approximately 500 locals temporarily from their residences.
Footage was released where dead livestock have been seen covered in the pyroclastic flows. These are fast-moving mixtures of volcanic materials such as solidified pieces of lava, ash, and hot gases. The steaming debris proceeded to a river nearby.
Agus Triono, chief of the local disaster agency, today issued a warning for residents regarding the ongoing risk of volcanic flows from the continuously spewing crater that can be triggered by the heavy rains.
Mount Ili Lewotolok’s Eruption
Semeru’s eruption closely followed the eruption of Mount Ili Lewotolok a few days prior. This volcano is located at the far eastern side of Indonesia on the island known as Lembata in the East Nusa Tenggara province.
Ili Lewotolok first erupted last November 27, Friday, when it spewed out an ash column 500 meters up into the atmosphere.
After two days, on Sunday, November 29, it erupted with a major blast that sent a very high ash column, with a danger of potential volcanic bombs that can reach up to a radius of approximately two kilometers away from the main crater.
Volcanic bombs are composed of molten rock known as tephra with a diameter of over 2.5 inches (or 64 millimeters). They are formed from the viscous lava fragments ejected during a volcanic eruption.
Approximately 6,000 locals evacuated to shelters. The eruption caused a flight warning as well as a local airport’s closure. No fatalities or injuries were reported.
Locals from Ili Lewotolok’s slopes were warned regarding cold lava flows that may occur, especially with the presence of heavy rainfall. They were advised to stay at least four kilometers away from the volcano’s crater.
Indonesia is an archipelagic country with 17,000 islands. It has 400 volcanoes, 130 of which are active.
This abundance of volcanoes is due to Indonesia’s location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. This is a ‘belt’ composed of boundaries of tectonic plates that circle the Pacific Ocean. This composition of fault lines and volcanoes naturally has numerous and regular seismic activity.
In Indonesia, 65 volcanoes are considered dangerously active.
During the latter part of 2018, a volcano located in the strait in between the islands of Sumatra and Java erupted and caused a landslide below the water, which triggered a deadly tsunami that claimed over 400 lives.
Mount Semeru is Java’s highest volcano as well as among its most active. It has almost been in constant eruption since the year 1967, and it is noted for its regular spewing of ash, which explodes at 10- to 30-minute intervals.
Mount Semeru, which is again currently spewing dangerous lava and polluting ash, is at a volcanic massif’s southern end which reaches north to the caldera of Tengger in Java, Indonesia.
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