Dec 01, 2020 09:03 PM EST
Authorities in Indonesia are closely monitoring several volcanoes as Mount Semeru erupted on Tuesday, two days after Ili Lewotolok’s blast two days ago, prompting the evacuation of thousands of people.
On Tuesday, Mount Semeru released hot ash, tumbling to as far as 3,000 meters down its slope, causing panic among villagers. According to Raditya Jati, the spokesperson for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, falling ash, and sulfur covered several villages around the slopes of Mount Semeru.
READ: Indonesia’s Mount Ili Lewotolok Erupts, Thousands of People Evacuated
Mount Semeru eruption
Mount Semeru in Lumajang district stands 3,676 meters and is the highest volcano in Java, Indonesia’s most densely populated island.
The evacuation of about 550 people who are living on the mountain’s slope is being evacuated. Jati said that there are no reports of damage so far.
Mount Semeru began erupting in May, making it’s status the third-highest level in Indonesia. Despite the recent eruption today, Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation did not raise the alert status of Semeru.
Residents and tourists are advised to stay at least 2.4 miles from the crater, the agency said.
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Mount Ili Lewotolok’s recent eruption
Semeru’s eruption on Tuesday came two days after Mount Ili Lewotolok spewed out columns of hot clouds as high as 4000 meters into the sky.
On Sunday, authorities raised the alert status of Lewotolok to the second-highest level after increased volcanic activities were recorded.
Ili Lewotolok’s eruption prompted the evacuation of more than 4,600 people in the vicinity of the mountain, which is located on Lembata Island in East Nusa Tenggara province.
A local airport was closed, and flight warnings were issued after the eruption as it rained ash on many areas of the island.
Monitoring the volcanic activity of Mount Merapi
Meanwhile, authorities are also monitoring the volcanic activity of Mount Merapi, which is also located on Java Island.
Mount Merapi has an increased volcanic activity since early November, prompting authorities to evacuate more than 1,800 people residing on the volcano’s fertile slopes.
Merapi’s alert has been raised to the second-highest level, and thus warning residents to stay at least 3 miles away from the crater. In June, Merapi released ash and hot gases as high as 3.7 miles into the sky. No casualties were reported from the eruption, however. Merapi’s last powerful eruption was in 2010, which claimed 347 lives and caused the evacuation of 20,000 residents.
Mount Sinabung is also being monitored.
Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra is also being closely monitored as authorities recorded increasing volcanic activities since August. Villagers are warned to stay 3 miles from the crater and be aware of any lava movement.
Mount Semeru and Ili Lewotolok, Merapi, and Sinabung, which are being monitored for eruption and other volcanic activities, are in the same Sunda Arc, which covers the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara. Indonesia has more than 120 active volcanoes and lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
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