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Panic in Java after a stunning volcanic eruption

Dead and injured after a volcanic eruption

DrAn eruption of a volcano on the Indonesian island of Java killed one person and injured dozens. Members of the Semeru family spat ash and a large cloud of smoke on Saturday, blacking out surrounding villages and sending thousands of residents to flee. Red lava flowed down the crater.

In the evening, authorities said at least one person had been killed. Two people are still missing, and more than 40 others were badly burned when they were hit by the hot lava.

A video clip distributed by the Civil Protection showed children and adults running away screaming. When lava reached the first villages and destroyed a bridge in the Lumajang district of East Java, the authorities sent rescue workers to bring the locals to safety.

“We are setting up emergency shelters in several places in Lumagang,” government spokesman Abdul-Mahari said. At least 300 families had taken refuge there by evening. A restricted area was created within a radius of five kilometers from the volcano.

The warning level for Semeru remained unchanged at the second highest level since the outbreak a year ago. Until then, gray ash covered the villages and thousands of people fled.

Indonesia has about 130 active volcanoes. The island country in Southeast Asia is located on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire. Many tectonic plates collide there, so that earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur frequently.

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