Death toll from Indonesia volcano rises as search continues for missing people | volcano news

Officials say at least 13 people were killed and 98 injured after the sudden eruption of Mount Semeru.

The death toll after eruption From Indonesia’s Semeru volcano it rose to 13, officials said, as rescuers worked through the night to free 10 people from the rubble.

A spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said in a statement on Sunday that two of the 13 people killed in the blast have been identified.

At least 98 people were injured, including two pregnant women, while 902 people were evacuated from villages around Semeru district in East Java province, the spokesman, Abdul Mahari said.

Rescue workers are still searching along a river in Korah Kubokan village for seven residents, and sand miners are reported missing.

The volcano, located on Indonesia’s most populous island of Java, erupted on Saturday, sending plumes of ash into the sky for more than 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), sending scorching gases and lava down its slopes.

Ash covered several villages in Lumajang district in East Java province.

This posted image captured and released on December 4, 2021, by Indonesia’s BNPB, shows Semeru volcano spewing ash into the air during an eruption as seen from Lumajang [Handout BNPB via AFP]

The sudden explosion was caused by a thunderstorm and days of heavy rain, said Eko Bodhi Liluno, head of the Geological Survey.

The rain eroded, he said, and the lava dome finally collapsed above 3,676 meters (12,060 ft) of Semeru.

He said flows of scorching gas and lava moved up to 800 meters (2,624 feet) into a nearby river at least twice on Saturday.

The BNPB advised people to stay 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) from the crater mouth.

Thorikul Haq, an official in Lumagang district, said that “thick plumes of ash turned several villages into darkness” and that power outages in the area were hampering evacuation efforts.

Haq said debris and lava mixed with rain formed thick mud that destroyed the main bridge linking Lumagang and the neighboring district of Malang, as well as a smaller bridge.

The BNPB said it has sent aid to shelters, including food, tarpaulins, face masks and body bags.

People ride a motorbike on a road covered in volcanic ash after the eruption of Semeru volcano in Sombruulu village, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2021. [Antara Foto/Hermawan/via Reuters]

Semeru’s alert status remained at the second highest level since its previous major outbreak in December 2020, which was also Thousands were forced to flee The villages were left covered with ashes.

There were no injuries at that time.

On Sunday, some residents who fled to a government shelter near the main office of Lumajang district said that the authorities had not passed on any information to them about the volcano’s activities.

“Suddenly everything went dark, bright noon turned into night. The rumbling sound and heat forced us to run to the mosque,” ​​said Fatima, a resident who had fled to the shelter from Korah Kubokan, about 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) from the crater. “It was a much stronger explosion than it was in January.”

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a series of horseshoe-shaped fault lines.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo