Mount Semeru in Indonesia releases ash and rivers of lava | In pictures News

Indonesia’s highest volcano, Mount Semeru, has erupted, releasing hot gas clouds and rivers of lava and urging the authorities to raise their volcano alert to its highest level.

Nearly 2,000 people on the densely populated island of Java have been evacuated from villages near the peak. Sunday’s eruption blanketed several villages in ashfall, which blocked out the sun, but no casualties were reported.

Increased volcanic activity on Sunday afternoon prompted authorities to widen the danger zone around Semeru to 8 km (5 miles) from the crater, said Hendra Gunawan, who heads the Center for Volcanology and Mitigation. geological hazards.

He advised residents to stay away from the southeast sector of the volcano along the Besuk Kobokan River, which is in the path of the lava flow.

The last major eruption of Semeru took place in December last year when it killed 51 people and buried villages in layers of mud. Several hundred people suffered serious burns and more than 10,000 people were evacuated.

Semeru, also known as Mahameru, has erupted several times over the past 200 years. Yet, as is the case with many of Indonesia’s 129 active volcanoes, tens of thousands of people continue to live on its fertile slopes.

Indonesiaan archipelago of more than 270 million people, lies along the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire”, a series of horseshoe-shaped fault lines prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.

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