Disasters & Accidents

Toll increases to 22 dead, 27 missing in Indonesia volcanic eruption

(Update 1: updates death toll, adds details)

Jakarta, Dec 6 (EFE).- At least 22 people have died and 27 remain missing from the recent eruption of the Semeru volcano on the Indonesian island of Java, local authorities said in an update on Monday evening.

Heavy rains and hot air emanating from the volcano, which early Monday witnessed a minor eruption, are making it difficult for search and rescue teams to find survivors in the eleven villages in the vicinity.

Moreover, according to the latest data update by the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), 51 people were injured by burns, of whom 35 are in severe condition.

The authorities said they were still collecting information from different departments and teams on the ground and would make updates accordingly.

The BNPB reported that some 5,200 people have been affected by the eruption of Semeru on Saturday, of which more than 1,700 have been evacuated to one of the 19 evacuation and displacement centers set up.

The eruption occurred Saturday at 3.30 pm. Columns of ash-covered several villages on the mountain slope as villages, plunging the residential areas into darkness.

The BNPB has established an evacuation zone within a 5 kms radius from the crater, and said that nearly 3,000 houses and 38 schools have been damaged, along with a key bridge that connected two main villages of the region.

A social media video captured by witnesses shows residents of Lumajang fleeing in a hurry amid a massive cloud of smoke and ash from Semeru.

The Indonesian volcanology service placed the risk in the area at level 2 (out of a maximum of 4).

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