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World News

07 Dec 2021

Volcano rescue workers dig through thick layers of hot ash in Indonesia after Mount Semeru erupts

Volcano rescue workers dig through thick layers of hot ash in Indonesia after Mount Semeru erupts
BBC:

Rescue workers in Indonesia continued to dig through thick layers of hot ash and debris Monday to find survivors of a volcanic eruption that left more than a dozen people dead and thousands displaced in the country's East Java province, even as the volcano continued to erupt ash.

Mount Semeru, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, erupted Saturday, shooting smoldering hot ash and volcanic gas into the air that turned the sky dark over villages in East Java's Lumajang district.
The death toll increased to 22 late Monday, the Head of Data and Information for Indonesia's National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), Abdul Muhari, said during a news conference. About 2,000 people had been evacuated across 19 makeshift centers, he added.
Nearly 3,000 houses and 38 schools have been damaged by the debris, according to a statement from the Command Post for Emergency Response of Mount Semeru. The eruption also destroyed a bridge that connects Lumajang with the neighboring Malang district, blocking access from the main road and hampering rescue efforts, it added.
Maulana Ardiansyah, a volunteer from Baznas Search and Rescue team told CNN the group found three bodies -- one man, one woman, and one child -- submerged in cold lava in Kampung Renteng village Monday morning.
The evacuees included hundreds of villagers who lived near a dam that burst Monday due to cold lava and heavy rain, Operational Chief of Search and Rescue I Wayan Suyatna told CNN.
He added that Monday's search operation was forced to stop twice due to pyroclastic clouds -- a mix of ash, rock and volcanic gases that can be much more dangerous than lava.
"Hot volcanic cloud is dangerous for the team safety," Suyatna said. "The weather here is also really bad. (It is) dark and rainy."

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