A volcano on Indonesia’s most densely populated island erupted Sunday about a year after its last burst that killed more than 50 people.
Mount Semeru, the highest volcano in the country at 12,060 feet high, began oozing hot lava and sending gas clouds into the sky after monsoon rains eroded the lava dome, National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said.
The eruption sent several hundred residents fleeing to temporary shelters and safe grounds as it shot thick ash nearly 5,000 feet into the sky. The ashes rained down on several villages nearby.
Authorities noted increased activity at Mount Semeru and widened the surrounding danger zone to 5 miles from the crater and raised the alert level Sunday afternoon.
Residents were also warned to stay away a southeastern section of the Besuk Kobokan River, where lava is flowing towards.
The volcano last erupted about a year ago in December 2021, when it killed 51 people and injured several hundred others with serious burns. The blast buried nearby villages under layers of mud and forced the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.
Semeru is an active volcano that has erupted several times over the last two centuries. Despite the dangers, tens of thousands of Indonesians live within its shadows.
Its eruption comes about a week after the world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, spewed ash and lava over Hawaii for the first time in nearly four decades.
With Post wires.