We are grateful that during the eruption on December 4, 2022, there were absolutely no casualties.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has said that the successful relocation of residents to safe areas was the reason there were no fatalities from the December 4, 2022, eruption of Mount Semeru, East Java.

Zero casualties were achieved although this year’s eruption had a bigger impact and affected four sub-districts, while last year's eruption affected two sub-districts, the acting head of BNPB's Disaster Data, Information, and Communication Center, Abdul Muhari, noted.

"We are grateful that during the eruption on December 4, 2022, there were absolutely no casualties," he said at the “Disaster Briefing” press conference on Monday.

All residents who previously lived in the area affected by the eruption in 2021 were relocated to another area, which was safe from the impact of eruptions, he added.

Furthermore, he lauded the quick response of the community and local government in facing an emergency situation when Mount Semeru spewed hot clouds, reaching 7 kilometers at 2:46 a.m. Western Indonesia Standard Time (WIB) on December 4.

An hour after the eruption, all residents had been shifted to a safer place.

"Although it usually takes time for the hot clouds to reach the settlement areas, on that Sunday (December 4) morning, all the settlements were immediately emptied and the residents were evacuated," the BNPB official informed.

The agency expects the affected areas will be kept totally free of settlements.

In addition, the implementation of temporary activities, such as economic activities, must pay attention to the alert level of the volcano.

For instance, when Mount Semeru is on Level III, people are prohibited from conducting any activities within a 17-kilometer radius of the volcano’s peak or along Besuk Kobokan area, Muhari said.

"However, when it drops to Level II, we can resume our activities around the affected areas, certainly we must not let our guard down," he added.

Earlier, the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) had revised the status of Mount Semeru from Level III to Level IV at 12 p.m. WIB on December 4.

On December 9, the Geological Agency of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry lowered the status to Level III as the activities of Mount Semeru declined.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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