JAVA, Indonesia – The eruption of the Semeru volcano on the island of Java, which began on Saturday, left at least 13 dead, according to local authorities. Located at 3,676 meters above sea level, the volcano, on the island’s highest mountain, began to spew clouds of ash and heat, which descended on villages, leaving residents in panic. In all, 98 people were reportedly injured and 902 evacuated.
The Indonesian agency responsible for natural disaster mitigation, BNPB, is still looking for more victims in the region. Most of the injuries caused by the eruption were burns.
People who have been to villages near the volcano describe houses and automobiles buried in ash, dead animals and fallen trees, blocking the passage of roads. The collapse of a bridge in the midst of the disaster would be making evacuation and rescue procedures difficult, the BNPB reported. Below, see a recording that shows a village after the passing of the ash cloud:
Watch videos from the moment of the eruption:
The volcano had only recently begun to spew lava, and local authorities monitoring Semeru activity had warned local residents not to go near the mount. Semeru had already erupted in January of this year, but it did not cause any deaths.
Indonesia has a total of 130 active volcanoes. The island of Java is in the “Pacific Circle of Fire”, an area of the planet where tectonic plates meet and volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are a reality.