Indonesia’s Semeru volcano on Java island erupted early on Sunday, spewing a column of ash 1.5km into the air and prompting evacuations of residents from the eruption area.
Authorities issued their highest level of warning in response to the eruption, local media reported. A regional administrator told broadcaster Kompas TV that the evacuation of people living near the volcano in East Java province had begun, the Guardian reported.
Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, BNPB, warned residents not to conduct any activities within a 5km of the eruption centre and to stay 500 metres from riversides due to risks of lava flow.
Japan’s Meteorology Agency was monitoring for the possibility of a tsunami after the eruption, the country’s public broadcaster NHK reported.
The volcano began erupting at 2:46 am local time, BNPB said in a statement. Videos posted on social media showed grey ash clouds in nearby areas.
BNPB did not immediately respond to Japan’s warning of tsunami risk.
With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the largest population in the world living in close range to a volcano, including 8.6 million people living within 10km of one.
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