Apart from the hot clouds, there is also a threat of cold lava flows, considering the relatively high rainfall on Mount Semeru.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The ​​​​​Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) updated the status of Mount Semeru from Level 3 or Alert to Level 4 or Caution on Sunday at 12.00 p.m. local time.

As a result, Head of PVMBG Hendra Gunawan forbid the community to be near the volcano within a radius of eight kilometers (km) from its peak, as quoted from a statement on Sunday.

Gunawan highlighted the importance of paying special attention to areas in the southeast sector of the mountain, including Besuk Kobokan and Kali Lanang, where the residents are not allowed to have any activity within a radius of 19 km from the peak of the volcano.

The PVMBG noted that Mount Semeru -- located in Lumajang District, East Java Province -- had erupted on Sunday at 02.46 a.m. local time. It emitted a hot cloud with eruption column height reaching 1,500 meters above the peak.

The source of the hot cloud was a pile of lava material at Jonggring Seloko Crater which is located about 800 meters from the mountain peak.

During 00.00 a.m. until 06.00 a.m. local time, eight eruption quakes and one hot cloud avalanche tremor were recorded.

The PVMBG head said that the situation showed that the eruption activity of Mount Semeru remained very high.

"Apart from the hot clouds, there is also a threat of cold lava flows, considering the relatively high rainfall on Mount Semeru," he remarked.

The results of the volcano deformation monitoring showed that there was an increasing pressure from the magma chamber to eject the magma into the surface.

Meanwhile, the monitoring of hotspots indicated an increase of thermal anomaly to 15 Megawatts (Mw) around the crater, showing that there were still piles of hot material in the volcano's crater.

Lumajang Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) had temporarily closed the Kali Lanang-Curah Kobokan crossing route to ensure the safety of the people.

The Quick Responsive Team of the BPBD had also appealed to the surrounding community to stay vigilant and evacuate to a safer location immediately.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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