Indonesia: Semeru Volcano - Dec 2021

Disaster description

Explosive activity at Mt. Semeru escalated on 4 December with an explosion at 14:50 WIB (UTC+7) producing an ash plume up to 15.2 km. As of 08:30 UTC on 5 December, the national disaster management agency, BNPB, is reporting 13 fatalities, with seven people missing and dozens injured. Hundreds took refuge in evacuation halls. Rockfalls and pyroclastic density currents have been reported by the seismic network and visual observations, while seasonal rain and thunderstorms that are forecast for the coming days present an increased risk of rain-triggered lahars. A number of villages have been covered in up to 4 metres of volcanic ash and sand, while housing, roads and bridges have been damaged. The BNPB is supporting in the immediate aftermath with helicopters, heavy machinery, food, shelter and PPE such as face masks. (ECHO, 5 Dec 2021)

According to the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), the number of fatalities has increased to 15 and 27 people are missing, and 169 have been injured. More than 1,700 people have been displaced in 19 refugee posts, 5,205 people have been affected as well as 2,970 houses across Lumajang Regency and Malang Regency in Java Province. (ECHO, 6 Dec 2021)

On 4 December 2021, the Mount Semeru volcano in Lumajang Regency, East Java Province, had its largest eruption in recent history and produced a hot cloud avalanche with volcanic materials and heavy ashfall. As of 6 December, the Government has reported 34 people killed, 17 people are unaccounted for, and 5,205 people directly affected, including some 3,697 people who are displaced within the regency. The eruption has damaged 2,970 houses and has affected 24 schools and 3,888 students. The Government has prohibited any human activity within one-kilometer radius from the volcano and five kilometers towards south-southeasterly direction. The local Government of Lumajang declared a 30-day emergency response period and has established a command post. OCHA has recorded more than 300 government and non-government institutions that have provided relief assistance to affected people. (OCHA, 6 Dec 2021)

As of 9 December 2021, 3 districts in East Java Province, namely Lumajang district, Malang district and Blitar district have been affected by the hot ash and lava avalanches, causing injuries to 144 people (32 severely injured and 82 mildly injured, 9 people missing, 43 fatalities and displacing 6,586 people to 125 evacuation location). Most of the evacuation centres are established in open spaces while some of the offices of public authorities and community centres are also used as evacuation centres. All the evacuation centres are managed by BPBD. The National Water Company is assigned to provide potable water. Ministry of Public Work and Housing set up emergency latrines, Ministry of Health with the support from local community health centre is providing health services and referral services and field kitchen made available by Ministry of Social Affairs at each of the evacuation centre. Various non-governmental organizations, and community-based organizations also providing services and in-kind donations at the evacuation centres. (IFRC, 17 Dec 2021)

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