Banyuwangi, East Java (ANTARA) - Mount Raung located on the borders of Banyuwangi, Jember and Bondowoso Districts, East Java Province, erupted and emitted volcanic ash that smothered several villages in Banyuwangi on Sunday.

Many residents of the affected villages suffered minor eye irritation while outdoor but they were urged to remain calm, Eka Muharam, head of the Emergency and Logistics Division of the Banyuwangi Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD), said here on sunday.

"Based on information obtained in coordination with the Raung Volcano Security Post (PPGA) officers, the ash rain is still considered safe," he said.

He urged local residents to wear eye glasses and face masks when they are outdoor. "We urge people to use face masks and glasses when they go out of home," he said.

Related news: Banyuwangi Airport closed due to ash from Mt Raung eruption

Burhan Alethea, an officer of the Raung Volcano Security Post (PPGA), confirmed that the erupting mountain spewed a smoke column reaching a height of 1,000 meters above the top of the crater. Weak to medium pressure crater smoke was observed in gray color with moderate to thick intensity.

The 3,332-meter-tall Mount Raung experienced continuous microtremor recorded at an amplitude of 3-20 MM (dominant 6 MM).

"Normal volcanic activity does not increase. It's just a little different visually," he said.

Since Wednesday (20/1) Mount Raung has experienced eruptions and on Thursday (21/1), the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) declared an increase in Mount Raung's volcanic activity status from Level I (normal) to Level II (Alert). to date.

The Banyuwangi Airport was temporary closed on Sunday morning as the airport was affected by volcanic ash from the mountain.

In addition to Mount Raung, Mount Merapi in Central Java and Mount Semeru in East Java have also been erupting lately.

Related news: Two Australian airlines cancel flights to Bali due to Mount Raung eruption

Translator: Masuki MA, Novi H, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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