Mount Semeru: Alert after Indonesia volcano eruption

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Indonesia raised its warning to the highest level on Sunday after Mount Semeru, a volcano in its East Java province, erupted, prompting evacuations of nearby residents.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the plume from the volcano reached 15 kilometers (roughly 50,000 feet) into the air.

The agency said in a statement Sunday it is monitoring for the possibility of a tsunami, but that no significant tide level changes had been observed at observation points in Japan and overseas.

Indonesia’s disaster management agency (BNPB) advised people not to carry out activities within a 5-kilometer (roughly 3 mile) radius from the top of Mount Semeru and said nearly 100 residents have evacuated.

There have been no reports of injuries or deaths so far.

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, said in a statement the alert level of volcanic activity had been raised to the highest Level IV from Level III.

Pyroclastic flow rolls down the slope of Mount Semeru during an eruption in Lumajang, East Java.

Mount Semeru, which lies around 500 miles (800 kilometers) southeast of the capital Jakarta, began erupting at 2:46 am local time Sunday (2:46pmET Saturday), according to BNPB. Videos shared by BNPB showed nearby villages blanketed in grey ash.

Java is the largest population center in Indonesia’s massive island archipelago and home to the capital city of Jakarta. Standing at more than 12,000 feet high, Mount Semeru is the tallest mountain on Java.

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