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Volcanic eruption death toll rose to 13

NAfter a volcanic eruption on the Indonesian island of Java, the death toll rose to 13. This was confirmed by the national civil protection agency on Sunday. Ten buried people could therefore be saved.

The Semeru spat out ash and a large cloud of smoke on Saturday, which darkened the surrounding villages and drove thousands of residents to flee. Red lava flowed down the crater.

At least 57 people were injured – more than 40 of them sustained severe burns when hit by the hot lava, local authorities said. A video distributed by the civil protection agency showed children and adults running away screaming. When the lava reached the first villages and destroyed a bridge in the Lumajang district in East Java, the authorities dispatched rescue workers to bring local residents to safety.

“We are setting up emergency shelters in several places in Lumajang,” said government spokesman Abdul Muhari. At least 300 families sought refuge there by evening. A restricted zone has been set up within a five-kilometer radius of the volcano.

The warning level for the Semeru had remained unchanged at the second-highest level since an eruption a year ago. Even then, villages were covered with gray ash and thousands of people fled.

Indonesia has around 130 active volcanoes. The Southeast Asian island state is located on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire. Several tectonic plates collide there, so that earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur particularly frequently.

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AFP

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