Home NEWS Hundreds flee as Indonesian volcano spews lava and ash

Hundreds flee as Indonesian volcano spews lava and ash

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Villagers gather to check the damage caused by lava flow in Lumajang, East Java province on December 2, 2020, following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano. (Photo by Juni Kriswanto / AFP)

Hundreds of Indonesians have fled their villages after a rumbling volcano spewed hot ash thousands of metres into the air and belched lava down its crater.

Mount Semeru on Java island spouted the towering column on Tuesday, prompting a call for around 500 people to temporarily evacuate their homes.

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Footage from the scene showed dead livestock covered by pyroclastic flows — a fast-moving mixture of hot gas and volcanic material — as steaming debris flowed into a nearby river.

Local disaster agency chief Agus Triono warned on Wednesday that residents could still be at risk as heavy rains threatened to trigger more volcanic flows from the still-spewing crater.

The eruption came days after Mount Ili Lewotolok roared back to life on the far eastern end of the archipelago nation.

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Around 6,000 residents fled to shelters there after the crater ejected a thick tower of debris four kilometres (2.5 miles) into the sky on Sunday, triggering a flight warning and the closure of a local airport.

There were no reports of injuries or deaths.

Indonesia is home to about 130 active volcanoes due to its position on the “Ring of Fire”, a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circling the Pacific Ocean where frequent seismic activity occurs.

In late 2018, a volcano in the strait between Java and Sumatra islands erupted, causing an underwater landslide that unleashed a tsunami which killed more than 400 people.



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