Indonesia’s Mount Semeru Erupts, 2,000 Flee

Monday, December 5, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

JAKARTA (Worthy News) – Some 2,000 people were rushed to safety after Indonesia’s feared Mount Semeru volcano erupted Sunday, spewing a cloud of ash 15 kilometers (49,000 feet) into the sky, authorities said.

The eruption came precisely one year after its previous explosion killed more than 50 people and displaced thousands, recalled residents.

After Sunday’s burst from the highest mountain on Indonesia’s main island of Java, a vast black cloud blocked the sun.

Villages around Semeru, some 640 kilometers (400 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta, were being battered by a mix of volcanic ash and monsoon rains, witnesses said.

“It was dark; I could not see anything. It was raining water and ash,” a villager said. “I didn’t know where to take shelter. I had to flee.”

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the eruption, but authorities said notices had been sent to two regional airports for vigilance.


Sunday’s eruption came as the nation still struggled to deal with the aftermath of a series of earthquakes in the west of Java, including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

The eruption also added pressure on churches that already deal with the aftermath of recent quakes. Following the disasters, several Indonesian churches have been among those providing aid to the needy in the mainly Muslim nation.

After last month’s 5.6 quake, a Mennonite group reportedly showed up to provide clean water. And some ten doctors and 20 nurses from a Christian medical fellowship arrived to help overwhelmed hospitals treat patients, Christians said.

A Presbyterian group reportedly provided hygiene kits and services for the disabled, while a Pentecostal congregation set up kitchens for those affected in five locations.

It was not immediately clear what the role of churches following Sunday’s volcano eruption was, but authorities began to raise the alert status for the volcano to the highest level.

Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre (PVMBG) told the media that the higher alert level meant local villages were in danger.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said 1,979 people had been taken to 11 shelters, with at least six villages affected by the eruption.

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