Jakarta (ANTARA) - Mount Semeru located in Lumajang and Malang Districts, East Java, spewed hot clouds reaching seven kilometers on Sunday, since 02:46 a.m. local time.

"We are at the monitoring post. The hot cloud avalanches are still ongoing, reaching between five to seven kilometers. Our monitoring post is approximately 12 kilometers away from the top," Head of Emergency at the Lumajang Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Joko Sambang said here on Sunday.

Based on the field monitoring with the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), the volcanic ash was observed flying upwards and heading south.

In anticipation of the volcanic ash impact, the Lumajang BPBD team distributed free masks to the communities there.

"The volcanic ash flies south, to Rowo Baung. There has already been a team that distributed masks and disseminates information to the community," Sambang said.

According to the PVMBG, Mount Semeru ejected a gray volcanic ash column with moderate to thick intensity to the southeast and south, approximately 1,500 meters above the peak.

The source of the hot cloud avalanches came from a pile on the tip of the lava tongue that was located about 800 meters from the Jonggring Seloko Crater.

As of 7:42 a.m. local time, the hot cloud ejection was still ongoing.

Meanwhile, PVMBG has appealed to the public not to carry out activities, and stay away from the southeast sector, especially along Besuk Kobokan which is located 13 kilometers from the summit.

People are also advised not to carry out activities within 500 meters of the river banks along Besuk Kobokan because of the risks of being hit by volcanic mudflow (lava) flows and hot cloud expansion.

The public is also prohibited from doing activities within a radius of five kilometers from the peak of Mount Semeru because it is prone to volcanic incandescent stones.

In addition, PVMBG still maintains an alert status or level III for Mount Semeru.

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Translator: Zubi M, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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