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Indonesia: villages covered by ash after the eruption of the Semeru volcano


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Two days after the Semeru volcano erupted on the Indonesian island of Java, which left 15 dead and more than 50 injured on December 4, images filmed by residents show the impressive extent of the damage: entire villages buried under ashes, stranded trucks, destroyed houses. Further ash and heavy rains threaten to slow down relief operations.

Only the roofs of the houses protrude from the thick layer of ash covering the street: the video, relayed by the Indonesian Natural Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), also shows trucks buried in dust the day after the eruption from the Semeru volcano. Rescuers, dressed in orange jackets, search for survivors.

The caption indicates that the video was filmed by volunteers from the BPBD of the Lumajang region in the village of Renteng, located about ten kilometers from the volcano.

This video was posted on Twitter on December 5, 2021.

Other videos show debris of destroyed homes sticking out of the ash:

At least 11 villages in Lumajang district were submerged by the ash cloud propelled by the Semeru volcano, erupted on Saturday December 4 in the east of the island of Java. Videos show residents fleeing in the face of imminent danger. About 900 people had to spend the night in shelters and mosques. According to BPBD, 1,300 people were evacuated.

Since then, heavy rains have caused hot mudslides on the outskirts of the volcano. Some people suffered burns after mistaking mudslides for flooding, resident said to AFP. These bad weather may further complicate the work of rescuers. According to BPBD, a bridge was also destroyed.

The caption of this video published on December 6, 2021 specifies that the torrent extends as far as the national road towards the city of Malang, about thirty kilometers below Semeru.

The Semeru Volcano Observatory recommended that residents of stay vigilant and not to approach within five kilometers of the crater, because of the danger caused by the air saturated with ash dust.

The Semeru volcano, culminating at an altitude of 3,676 m, is one of the 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. Its last major eruption was in December 2020. Nearly 1,000 people had been displaced by then.


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