Malang, E Java (ANTARA) - The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Center (BB TNBTS) has asked residents to stay alert following the eruption of East Java's Mount Semeru on Saturday, which was accompanied by thick pyroclastic flow and lava avalanches.

Head of the data, evaluation, reporting, and public relations sub-section of TNBTS BB, Sarif Hidayat, confirmed reports of pyroclastic flow from the highest mountain on Java Island on Saturday afternoon.

"There is thick pyroclastic flow. Thus, the people living near the mountain are urged to be careful," he said.

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In addition, communities inhabiting areas adjacent to the river were asked to remain alert for mudflow caused by the volcano eruption, he informed.

Mount Semeru -- which stands 3,676 meters above sea level (MASL) -- was reported to have shown increased volcanic activity, indicated by pyroclastic flow and volcanic ash rain, around 3 p.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB), he said.

The Mount Semeru Volcano Observation Post (PPGA) at Sawur Mountain Post reported that the pyroclastic avalanche started at 2.47 p.m. WIB, with a maximum amplitude of 20 millimeters.

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At 3.10 p.m. WIB, the observation post reported that volcanic ash and pyroclastic flow could be clearly seen emerging from the volcano, with the air smelling of sulfur.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the pyroclastic flow headed towards Besuk Kobokan River, Pronojiwo sub-district, Lumajang district, East Java, at approximately 3.20 p.m. WIB.

Meanwhile, the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) informed that lava avalanches were observed sliding to a distance of approximately 500-800 meters, with the center of the avalanche located approximately 500 meters below the crater.

The East Java Regional Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) said it has sent three teams to assist the Lumajang district BPBD in evacuating residents affected by the volcanic eruption.

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Translator: Vicki Febrianto, Uyu Liman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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