Jakarta, Dec 7 (EFE).- At least 34 people have died, 56 have been injured and 17 remain missing following last weekend’s eruption of the Mount Semeru volcano on the Indonesian island of Java, the National Disaster Agency said Tuesday.
Indonesian authorities said at least 3,697 have been displaced “due to damage to their homes by volcanic materials” after Saturday’s eruption.
Rescue efforts are being hampered by the meteorological conditions that hit the region and the hot air pockets from the volcano.
The 3,676-meter tall volcano erupted at about 3.30 p.m. local time (8.30 GMT) and caused a huge ash tsunami that eclipsed the sun and covered the towns attached to the mountain.
Social media footage from witnesses show Lumajang town residents fleeing in a hurry while a gigantic cloud of smoke and ash from Semeru, one of the most active volcanoes in the country, advances toward them.
Emergency teams have established an exclusion radius of 5 kilometers over the crater and specify that almost 3,000 houses and 38 schools have been damaged, in addition to a key bridge that connected two of the main towns in the region.
Indonesia sits within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of ??great seismic activity with 127 active volcanoes shaken by thousands of tremors a year, most of them of low magnitude.
Semeru’s last significant eruption occurred in January without reported victims, while another in December 2020 forced the evacuation of thousands of people. EFE