At least 14 dead after Indonesia’s Mount Semeru volcano erupts

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Jakarta:   At least 14 people are dead and hundreds are displaced after Mount Semeru, a volcano in Indonesia’s East Java province, erupted on Saturday, authorities said.
Indonesia’s National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said in a statement Sunday the eruption had wounded 56 others, with 35 people in serious condition, after it covered villages with ash and left people to run from billowing clouds of debris.
Five of the victims have yet to be identified and nine people are still missing, the BNPB said. Some 1,300 people have been displaced by the eruption and reached evacuation centers, it added.
Hundreds of houses have been totally destroyed and 33 schools have been damaged by the eruption, according to the BNPB.
Officials say the situation at Mount Semeru remains dangerous due to the risk of pyroclastic flows — a mix of ash, rock and volcanic gases that can be much more dangerous than lava.
“We recommend everyone to increase their alert because the potential of pyroclastic flows threat is still high. It can happen anytime without any warning,” Chief of the Mount Semeru Observation Post, Liswanto, told CNN.
Liswanto said on Sunday his team recorded two pyroclastic flow events. The first was at 5 a.m. local and second one was at 10 a.m. local time. The deadly volcanic material was rolling down to Curah Kobokan village, which was evacuated on Saturday.
They have urged people living up to 6 miles away from the volcano to evacuate as pyroclastic flows “is very hot, the temperature can reach more than 1000 Celsius,” Liswanto said.
Since there is no sign or method to predict when the pyroclastic flow will occur, the phenomenon can be very dangerous, Liswanto said.