Hundreds of Indonesians flee as Java volcano belches hot gas

Java volcano
Java volcano

More than 550 people fled their village after a volcano in Indonesia’s East Java province spewed searing gas down its slopes early Tuesday, the country’s disaster management agency said.

The alert level for the Semeru volcano in Lumajang district remained at one notch above normal despite the eruption, said agency spokesman Raditya Jati.

There were no reports of casualties, but the fleeing villagers were in urgent need of food and masks, he said.
“A public kitchen is being prepared and health authorities are distributing masks with the help of soldiers and police,” he said.

Semeru is the second Indonesian volcano to have come to life in recent days.
On Sunday, authorities raised the Lewatolo volcano on Lembata island the second-highest level following a series of eruptions, officials said.

The eruptions forced the evacuation of nearly 3,000 people and the closure of the island’s airport.
Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for seismic upheavals, and has about 128 active volcanoes.

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