The eruption of Mount Semeru in East Java province has raised concerns about the status of other active volcanoes across Indonesia, which are home to more than 270 million people.
After Mount Semeru erupted on Dec. 4, three volcanoes were on Level Three alert, the second highest, according to the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG).
The three volcanoes are Mount Merapi, one of the most active volcanoes in the world located on the border between the provinces of Central Java and Yogyakarta; Mt. Sinabung in the province of North Sumatra; and Mount Lewotolok in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), reports the Xinhua news agency.
Meanwhile, Mount Semeru, the highest volcano on the island of Java, remains at caution level two.
Mount Merapi coughed up hot clouds on Sunday within a radius of 2,000 meters, according to the Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Center (BPPTKG).
“Hot ash clouds were recorded at 10:18 a.m. They also spewed lava three times,” said BPPTKG chief Hanik Humaida.
The BPPTKG has warned local residents not to carry out any activities in the potentially dangerous area, because if the volcano erupts, the spread of volcanic materials can reach a radius of 3 km.
No tourist activity is allowed within a 5 km radius of the summit of the mountain, and all mining operations must be stopped. The volcano agency observed thick, high-intensity fog at Mount Sinabung.
Local residents and tourists have been warned not to conduct any activities within 3 km of the mountain peak.
Due to the volcano’s increased activity, the PVMBG suggested that people wear masks outside to avoid volcanic ash. Residents living near the rivers surrounding the mountain were urged to remain cautious about the potential for lava.
Mount Sinabung, at an altitude of 2,460 meters above sea level, erupted in August 2010 for the first time in hundreds of years. Sinabung’s last deadly eruption was in 2018, and no fatal explosion from the volcano has been recorded since then.
Since Sunday, the summit of Mount Lewotolok has been covered in smog and its crater has turned white with thick, high smoke.
The PVMBG recorded volcanic earthquakes and the bright burst of volcanic material. No activity within 3 km is permitted due to the potential for hot clouds.
Citing the danger of volcanic ash, the agency warned that local residents are wearing masks and using other means of protection to cover their eyes and skin.
The most recent data from the PVMBG showed that Indonesia currently has a total of 127 active volcanoes, the highest number in the world, of which more than 20 are considered the most active.
On Sunday, the death toll from the Semeru eruption reached 46, while nine people remain missing and hundreds of families were forced to move into shelters, according to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. disasters (BNPB).
Besides Mount Semeru, there are 10 other volcanoes in the archipelago that have been classified as level two.
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