The Semeru volcano erupted again. Another fatal eruption was reported on Monday. The search for missing persons continues, and geologists warn that the region is still unsafe.
Indonesia’s Semeru volcano continues to release hot clouds of ash. The eruption occurred on Saturday, but it is still not safe there on Monday. As reported, the balance of fatalities increased – 15 people died as a result of the explosion.
Villages in the dust
From Saturday, the surrounding villages on the island of Java are covered with a layer of dust from the volcano.
The photos from the air show roofs protruding from the landscape grayed by dust and mud. You can also see the army, police and residents trying to remove the rubble to dig for the missing with their own hands.
The volcano erupted again on Monday morning, the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Mitigation of Geological Hazards reported.
– Semeru is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. It will still be active after the December 4 eruption, said Liswanto, head of the Semeru Volcano Observatory.
They are looking for the missing
The fate of the 27 people who went missing after the eruption is still unknown, according to the Indonesian disaster relief agency. The search for casualties in the Sumberwuluh area was made much more difficult due to unfavorable weather.
He added that some residents tried to return to their homes to check the condition of their property and livestock. However, he recommended to remain vigilant as the potential threat had not yet subsided.
“We looked for nine reported missing persons and found the bodies of three victims,” said Estianto Hendriantono, head of the local search and rescue service. “The challenge was that they were trapped under the logs and rocks and the ground was still hot,” he said.
Residents hope to find their relatives. They post photos of their missing relatives on social media, asking for any information about their whereabouts.
Destruction and loss
Rescue operations were additionally complicated by the destruction of the bridge connecting the nearby Lumajang District with the city of Malang.
Shelters were created for over 1.7 thousand evacuees. They have access to public kitchens and health centers.
According to local media reports, a team to protect children was also sent to the site. Hundreds of relief packages were created, containing products such as rice, blankets, clothes and other basic necessities.
Semeru is the highest peak on the Indonesian island of Java. It is one of over 100 active volcanoes in the country. Indonesia lies in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire – an area with high seismic activity.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / AMMAR