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Public Warned to Limit Activities after Mount Semeru Erupts Again

Mount Semeru Eruption
Public Warned to Limit Activities after Mount Semeru Erupts Again. Photo

The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia has reported that Mount Semeru erupted again this morning, Tuesday 6th December.

The height of the ash column was seen at 400 metres above the summit. Currently, Mount Semeru is still on level IV alert and has been since 4th December 2022. “There was an eruption of Mount Semeru on Tuesday 6th December 2022, at 5am with the height of the ash column being seen ± 400 metres above the summit (± 4076 metres above sea level),” wrote Liswanto, the Semeru Volcano Observatory Officer. 

Liswanto said the ash column was seen to be white to grey with moderate to thick intensity to the south and southwest. The eruption was recorded on a seismograph with a maximum amplitude of 23 mm for 73 seconds.

The public was warned not to carry out any activities in the southeastern sector along Besuk Kobokan, which is 17 km from the eruption centre and a distance of 500 metres from the riverbank along Besuk Kobokan. This area has the potential to be affected by the expansion of hot clouds and lava flowing, which could be up to a distance of 19 km from the summit.

Any activities are not allowed within an 8 km radius from the crater or summit of Mount Semeru because it is vulnerable to the danger of throwing stones,” said Liswanto.

In addition, Liswanto asked the public to be aware of the potential for hot cloud falls, lava avalanches along the rivers or valleys, especially along Besuk Kobokan, Besuk Bang, Besuk Kembar, and Besuk Sat, as well as the potential for lava in small rivers which are tributaries of Besuk Kobokan.

ITB volcanology expert, Mirzam Abdurachman, assessed that Semeru’s evacuation preparations this time were better than last year’s. The public can read natural signs and not underestimate them.

“As soon as there are signs of a volcano erupting, they are ready to evacuate immediately when the danger level is increasing. It is very good. So last year’s lessons, it seems, still make an impression on all of us,” he told BBC News Indonesia.

According to Abdurachman, the early warning system has also been running better than last year. Early warning is better understood by the public.

“The early warning system is getting more complete and people have received the information well,” he said.

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