Indonesian Semeru volcano erupts, spews ash 5kms into sky

This handout photo taken and released on January 16, 2021 by the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) shows Mount Semeru spewing ash during an eruption in Lumajang, East Java. — AFP pic
This handout photo taken and released on January 16, 2021 by the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) shows Mount Semeru spewing ash during an eruption in Lumajang, East Java. — AFP pic

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JAKARTA, Jan 16 — A volcano in Indonesia’s East Java province erupted today, spewing ash and smoke as high as an estimated 5.6 kilometres into the sky, according to data from the geological agency at the country’s energy ministry.

Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country, and while many show high levels of activity it can be weeks or even months before an eruption.

The Semeru mountain erupted at just past 5 p.m. local time. Videos posted on social media showed grey ash clouds towering over houses.

The country’s disaster mitigation agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the possibility of evacuation.

Other volcanoes, such as the Merapi volcano on the island of Java and Sinabung on Sumatra, have shown signs of activity recently. — Reuters

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