Large volcano eruption in Indonesia causes panic in Java

A massive volcanic eruption began on Saturday, and residents of the Indonesian island of Java fled a massive cloud of ash. This is the second time in months that Mount Semeru has erupted in the area. Local authorities said that no casualties have been recorded so far and evacuations are continuing.

Eyewitnesses said heavy rain of volcanic ash from Mount Semeru was blocking the sun in two local areas, shifting from day to night. The Regional Airborne Volcanic Activity Monitoring Center (VAAC) has issued a warning to airlines of an ash cloud as high as 15,000 meters or 50,000 feet.

Thorikul Haq, chief of Lumagang district near Semeru, told the media that a road and bridge linking Lumagang and the neighboring town of Malang have been cut off. Footage on social media showed residents fleeing as a giant ash cloud rose from behind them.

The high-level eruption at Semeru volcano, East Java, Indonesia, began around 07:00 UTC (4:00 a.m. this Saturday in Brasilia). Aviation color coding has been upgraded to red.

At 9:20 UTC (6:20 GMT), the ash cloud was estimated to be 15.2 km (50,000 ft) above sea level, according to the VAAC in Darwin, Australia, which is responsible for warning pilots of volcanic activity in the area.

Volcanic ash is observed in the latest RGB and satellite imagery moving southwest of the summit. The -85°C temperature obtained corresponds to 15.2 km (50,000 ft)”, the VAAC reported in Darwin.

Semeru, or Mount Semeru (in Indonesian Gunung Semeru), is an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia. It is located in the subduction zone where the Indo-Australian tectonic plate descends under the Eurasian plate. It is the highest mountain on the island of Java.

Semeru’s volcanic history is extensive. Since 1818, at least 55 eruptions have been recorded (of which 10 have resulted in deaths), consisting of pyroclastic and pyroclastic flows. All historical eruptions had a Volcanic Explosion Index (VEI) of 2 or 3. Semeru has been in a near-constant eruption state from 1967 to the present day.

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