Sunday, June 19, 2022

    Indonesia’s Semeru volcano could blow up again; Authorities issued a warning

    Indonesian authorities have raised the alert level for the highest volcano on the island of Java, saying that after a sudden eruption earlier this month, Mount Semeru could blow up again, killing 48 people and leaving 36 missing villages buried underground. The Indonesian Geological Survey said on Saturday it was taking “increasing activity” that could cause lava and steering gas snowfall, similar to the eruption on December 4, which preceded heavy rains that landed a 3,676-meter (12,060-meter) lava dome. Ft) mountain.

    Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif said about 8 million cubic meters (282 million cubic feet) of sand from the volcanic crater has blocked the Besuk Kobokan River, which is in the path of lava flows.

    As a result, if another eruption occurs, it will block the flow path and create new lava flows spreading to the surrounding area, Tasrif said, adding that the government has created a new danger map and called on the public to comply. This has raised the alert level to second-highest.

    Andiani, head of the Indonesian Volcano and Geological Danger Relief Center, said villagers living on the fertile slopes of the Semaras were advised to stay 13 kilometers (8 miles) away from the mouth of the hole. He also stopped tourism and mining activities in the Besuk Kobokan reservoir.

    The search and rescue operation ended on Friday with 36 people still missing. More than 100 people were injured, 22 of them seriously. Abdul Muhari, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said more than 5,200 homes and buildings had been damaged.

    After inspecting the area last week, President Joko Widodo promised to rebuild the infrastructure, including the main bridge connecting the most damaged city, Lumazang, with other cities, and remove about 2,970 homes from the danger zone.

    The Semeru, also known as the Mahameru, has exploded many times in the last 200 years. Still, thousands of people live on its fertile slopes, as are many of the 129 volcanoes observed in Indonesia. It last erupted in January, with no casualties.

    Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity as it sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a series of horse shoe-shaped fault lines.

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