Indonesia’s tallest volcano erupted on Sunday, sending a river of lava across the terrain of the country’s most populated island, and clouds of ash up into the sky, according to reports.
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that monsoon rains contributed to the erosion and collapse of a lava dome at the top of Mount Semeru, which at its highest peak is 12,060 feet above sea level.
When the lava dome collapsed, the eruption followed, a spokesperson for the National Disaster Management Agency told the AP.
The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management posted a flash update on the eruption of Mount Semeru on Sunday, saying the volcanic activity began at 0344 UTC+7, and nearly 10 minutes later, “volcanic ash from hot cloud avalanches” was observed.
The preliminary analysis, the agency said, was that an estimated 61,024 people, 15,256 households, and 162 million USD of infrastructure was within 10 kilometers of the volcano, and likely to be impacted. It added that there are not any concentrated populations between 10-30km of the volcano.
The agency said in response to the eruption, local authorities in Lumajang Regency and East Java Province would conduct evacuation of the affected communities.
The AP reported ash was being blown nearly 5,000 feet into the sky as lava moved toward a river.
The sun was blocked out and villages became covered in ash, but as far as deaths, none had been reported.
The last time Semeru erupted was in December 2021, leaving 51 people dead in villages buried in mud.
Hundreds suffered from burns and more than 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes.
Indonesia is an archipelago with more than 270 people living there. The area is part of the “Ring of Fire” of the Pacific Ocean and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because of the fault lines and tectonic plates.