Saturday, May 24, 2008

Semeru Volcano, Indonesia - John Seach

On Wednesday, Semeru Volcano in Indonesia was upgraded to level 3 alert (out of a maximum 4). During the period 15-19 May there were 432 explosion earthquakes and 6 pyroclastic flows at the volcano. On 20th May there were 92 eruption earthquakes. Eruption of ash continued for periods of 20-30 minutes at a time and reached 400 m above the summit. During the night, ash emissions were accompanied by glowing lava. Some villages are under threat from eruptions, lahars and pyroclastic flows. A 4 km exclusion zone has been placed around the southeast slope of the active crater due to the risk of pyroclastic flows. Volcanic material is building around the crater, and this could mobilise after heavy rain, causing lahars. Evacuations have not been ordered at this stage.
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