Semeru volcano eruption in Indonesia killed 14 people; dozens were injured Reuters


© Reuters. In this photo taken by Antara Foto on December 4, 2021, local people affected by the eruption of the Semeru volcano evacuated from Sumberwuluh Village in Lumajang County, East Java, Indonesia. Antara Foto/Muhammad Sidkin Ali/From Reuters


Authors: Prasto Wardoyo and Willy Kurniawan

SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia (Reuters)-The Indonesian disaster agency said on Sunday that the eruption of Semeru volcano has killed at least 14 people, dozens of people, on the island of Java as rescue teams searched for victims under the ashes, sometimes digging with bare hands. Hurt.

Semeru is the highest mountain on the island of Java. On Saturday, volcanic ash and hot cloud towers covered villages near East Java, and people fled in panic.

Authorities said the volcanic eruption destroyed buildings and severed the strategic bridge connecting the two areas near the Luma River with Malang City.

A BNPB official said at a press conference later on Sunday that 14 people have been killed, 9 of whom have been identified, 56 people were injured, most of them burned.

BNPB stated that approximately 1,300 people have been evacuated and 9 people are still missing.

Taufiq Ismail Marzuqi, a resident of Lumajang district who volunteered to help, told Reuters that the rescue work was “very scary” due to the severed bridges and the lack of experience of volunteers.

In a video he recorded, police and military officials tried to exhume the body with bare hands.

According to the national news agency Antara, rescuers found the body of a mother in the village of Curah Kobokan, also located in Lumajang, who was still holding the dead baby.

Witnesses said that Reuters witnesses in the Sumberwuluh area said that houses and vehicles were almost completely submerged in thick gray volcanic ash, fallen trees blocked the road, and a cow that villagers could not rescue was lying on the side of the road.

Hosnia, a 31-year-old local resident who evacuated with his family, told Reuters that the volcano erupted very suddenly.

“In the beginning, I thought it was bombs and explosives… Suddenly it was dark, it was like destroying the earth,” she said.

Hosniya and her family ran away and could not take away anything except official documents.

Rescue work

A meteorological agency official said on Sunday evening that heavy rain is expected in the next three days, which may complicate evacuation. Local rescuers say that rock fragments and hot volcanic deposits have restricted movement.

The person in charge of BNPB said that BNPB will rebuild destroyed houses and heavy equipment including excavators and bulldozers are being deployed.

The agency also stated that 10 people trapped in the sand mine due to the volcanic eruption have been evacuated to safety.

According to volcano experts, Semeru has been in the eruption phase since 2014, and recently started to emit hot clouds and lava flows, prompting the authorities to warn people not to start on Wednesday Get close to it.

The Ministry of Transport of Indonesia said on Sunday that the volcanic eruption did not cause any disruption to flights, but it has reminded pilots to pay attention to the ash.

Semeru is over 3,600 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level and is one of nearly 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

Indonesia straddles the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a highly seismically active zone where different plates on the crust meet and produce a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.

Although many volcanoes in Indonesia show sustained high levels of activity, the eruption may take several years. In 2010, Mount Merapi erupted on the island of Java, killing more than 350 people and displacing 400,000 people.

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