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Thousands flee as Indonesia's Mount Semeru volcano erupts (Updated)

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 4th December, 2021 08:02:20 PM
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Mount Semeru, a volcano on Indonesia's East Java Province, erupted on Saturday, spewing a column of smoke and ash while displacing thousands from the area, authorities said.

The eruption has killed at least one person and wounded 41 others, Indah Masdar, deputy head of Lumajang District, said in a press conference held in Jakarta.

Budi Santosa, Head of Disaster Management of East Java Province, said earlier on Saturday that two sub districts had been "badly affected" by the volcano's eruption.

Volcanic ash, the smell of sulfur was reported around 3 p.m. local time (3 a.m ET), the Mount Semeru Volcano Observation Post reported. It added that hot ash clouds were falling towards an East Java village, Sapitarang, in Pronojiwo District.

Videos shared by government emergency response teams showed residents in the area running away from huge thick clouds of smoke.

Other footage shared by locals showed people gathering at a local mosque in Besuk Kobokan as ash and smoke blanket the surrounding streets.

Santosa told the news conference that he believed health facilities in the disaster area, either primary health centers or hospitals, would be able to accommodate victims.

His team is currently trying to conduct evacuations and preparing refugee camps in the area, that would provide food, masks, blankets and shelter for displaced residents.

Indonesia sits between two continental plates on what is known as the Ring of Fire, a band around the basin of the Pacific Ocean that leads to high levels of tectonic and volcanic activity.

Source: CNN