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World Indonesia's Mount Semeru: Thousands flee as volcano erupts

16:11  04 december  2021
16:11  04 december  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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Mount Semeru, a volcano on Indonesia's East Java Province, erupted on Saturday, spewing a column of smoke and ash while displacing thousands from the area, authorities said.

The erupting Mount Semeru has displaced thousands of people. © BNPB The National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure The erupting Mount Semeru has displaced thousands of people.

No casualties have been reported so far, and emergency teams are still assessing the situation on the ground as they gather information about possible victims and displaced people,Budi Santosa, Head of Disaster Management of East Java Province, said on live television on Saturday.

He said there are two sub districts that have been "badly affected" by the volcano's eruption.

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Volcanic ash, the smell of sulfur was reported around 3 p.m. local time (3 a.m ET), the Mount Semeru Volcano Observation Post reported. It added that hot ash clouds were falling towards an East Java village, Sapitarang, in Pronojiwo District.

Videos shared by government emergency response teams showed residents in the area running away from huge thick clouds of smoke.

Other footage shared by locals showed people gathering at a local mosque in Besuk Kobokan as ash and smoke blanket the surrounding streets.

Santosa told the news conference that he believed health facilities in the disaster area, either primary health centers or hospitals, would be able to accommodate any possible victims.

His team is currently trying to conduct evacuations and preparing refugee camps in the area, that would provide food, masks, blankets and shelter for displaced residents.

Indonesia sits between two continental plates on what is known as the Ring of Fire, a band around the basin of the Pacific Ocean that leads to high levels of tectonic and volcanic activity.

Mount Semeru spews ash into the air during an eruption on Saturday. © Handout/BNPB/AFP Mount Semeru spews ash into the air during an eruption on Saturday.

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