Indonesia Raises Semeru Volcano Alert, Fearing New Eruption | Science News

By NINIEK KARMINI, Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities raised the alert degree for the best volcano on Java island, saying Mount Semeru might blow up once more after a sudden eruption earlier this month left 48 folks lifeless and 36 lacking in villages that have been buried in layers of mud.

Indonesia’s geological company stated Saturday it picked up rising exercise that would set off an avalanche of lava and searing fuel, just like the Dec. 4 eruption, which was preceded by heavy monsoon rains that partially collapsed a lava dome on the three,676-meter (12,060-foot) mountain.

About 8 million cubic meters (282 million cubic ft) of sand from the volcano’s crater clogged the Besuk Kobokan River, which is within the path of the lava circulation, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif stated.


“As a result, if there is another eruption, it would block the flow path and create new lava flows spreading to the surrounding area,” Tasrif stated, including that the federal government had arrange a brand new hazard map and urged folks to obey it. It raised the alert degree to the second-highest.

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The head of Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center, Andiani, stated villagers dwelling on Semeru’s fertile slopes are suggested to remain 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the crater’s mouth. She additionally stopped tourism and mining actions alongside the Besuk Kobokan watershed.

The search and rescue operations ended on Friday with 36 folks nonetheless unaccounted for. More than 100 folks have been injured, 22 of them with severe burns. More than 5,200 homes and buildings have been broken, stated National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari.


After visiting the world final week, President Joko Widodo pledged to rebuild infrastructure, together with the primary bridge connecting the worst-hit city of Lumajang to different cities, and transfer about 2,970 homes out of the hazard zone.

Semeru, often known as Mahameru, has erupted many occasions within the final 200 years. Still, as on lots of the 129 volcanoes monitored in Indonesia, tens of 1000’s of individuals dwell on its fertile slopes. It final erupted in January, with no casualties.

Indonesia, an archipelago of greater than 270 million folks, is liable to earthquakes and volcanic exercise as a result of it sits alongside the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped sequence of fault traces.

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