Liputan6.com, Lumajang - Over two thousands people have been evacuated after Mount Semeru erupted in Lumajang Regency, East Java Province. The eruption happened on 4 December 2022, the exact same date when Semeru erupted last year.
Mount Semeru erupted while Indonesians are still recovering after the deadly earthquake in Cianjur, West Java Province, which took the lives of more than 300 people.
Viral videos showed how the volcanic smoke was covering the sky while the villagers around the area were trying to save their lives. So far, there have been no casualties.
According to the Indonesian volcanology center, the status of Mt. Semeru is reaching level 4 ("Warning"). It is the highest level of the four-tiered Indonesian volcanic status.
Furthermore, the center has also dispelled the hoax that the eruption would result in a tsunami.
"The circulating news that the Mt. Semeru's eruption could create tsunami is untrue. The current impacts of eruption is volcanic ash which impacts the southwestern, western, and southern sides of Semeru volcano. The hot cloud is reaching around 13 km to the southeast, and not reaching to the sea," said the the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation on Twitter.
The Regional Disaster Management Authority (BPBD) said the evacuees are sheltered in 12 different places. Schools, mosques, village halls, field, and a mountain post are used to house the evacuees.
"We ask the people to avoid activities within the radius of 19 kilometers from the eruption region," said Gatot Soebroto, acting head of BPBP of East Java.
Gatot said that the fallout of hot clouds was still coming within the 17 kilometers radius of Semeru.
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Highest Level Risk
The government of Lumajang Regency has declared 14 days of emergency period because of the fallout of Mount Semeru's eruption.
"The emergency for 14 days starting from today," said Lumajang Regent Thoriqul Haq on Sunday.
In accordance with the highest Warning level, Thohirul asked his team to focus on the evacuees. Thohirul also visited the red zone area to make sure that everyone has already been evacuated.
Although the eruption took place in the early Sunday morning at 03:00 AM, Thohirul said the locals were able to evacuate immediately.
"I have ensured that the evacuation process was very quick," he said.
BPBD of Lumajang is still trying to assess the logistical needs from the evacuees. Meanwhile, BPBD of East Java already sent aid, including masks to minimize the impacts from the volcanic ash.
As of Sunday evening, BPBD of East Java already distributed various foods, including 1,000 kilograms of rice, 200 litres of oil, 200 kilograms of canned sardines, 100 blankets, soaps, and clothings.
Rita Ayuningtyas and Hermawan Arifianto contributed to this report.
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