A gigantic tongue of ash and lava divides Lumajang district. The semeru volcano, in Java, Indonesia, has caused 14 deaths, more than 50 injured and a thousand evacuees.
Whole villages have been buried. The search for missing persons focuses the efforts of rescue teams in very difficult conditions. The rain has transformed the ash into mud and there is serious damage to the infrastructure, while the volcano maintains its incessant activity. The authorities have avoided, as they usually do on some occasions when natural disasters occur, specifying a number of missing persons, although this morning they indicated that a dozen miners who had been trapped as a result of the eruption were evacuated alive.
The sIndonesian Volcanology Service maintains level 2 (out of a maximum of 4) the risk in the area and issued a flight alert for aircraft circulating in the region. According to experts, the ejected ash could reach 15,000 meters in height, above the cruising altitude of most of aircraft and that solidified could cause damage to the engines.
The Indonesian archipelago sits within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic activity with 127 active volcanoes that is shaken by thousands of tremors a year, most of them of low magnitude.
The last significant eruption of the Semeru, one of the most active volcanoes in the country, occurred in January this year without any casualties, while another in December 2020 forced thousands of people to evacuate.
This Sunday, in addition, a magnitude 6 earthquake at a depth of 174 kilometers shook the waters north of the Moluccas Islands, more than 2,000 kilometers northeast of the Semeru, without causing damage.