Indonesia volcano erupts for second time in three days as death toll rises to 22 – World News

Rescuers have been battling against the weather since Saturday when Mount Semeru first erupted, sending towering columns of ash into the air.

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Semeru: Destruction caused by eruption of volcano

A volcano in Indonesia wreaked havoc again on Monday when it erupted for a second time.

Mount Semeru began spewing out hot clouds of ash in Java on Saturday, killing at least 22 people.

Thousands of people have fled their homes and dozens remain missing after the volcano, the tallest mountain on the island, shot a towering ash column into the sky.

Military officers, police and residents dug through mud with their hands to pull out victims from the ashen landscape.

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency confirmed the latest death toll along with 27 people still missing.

Mount Semeru is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and experts have warned of ongoing seismic activity after its second eruption.

Liswanto, the head of the Semeru Volcano Observatory, said: “Before and after the December 4 eruption, it will continue to be active.

A man with an umbrella walks amongst damaged houses looking for his goat near Mount Semeru



“People need to be more vigilant because the potential threat is still there.”

Some residents returned to their homes to check on belongings and livestock, but Liswanto urged people to keep a safe distance.

Farmers are struggling to feed their animals with food such as grass covered in ash.

In the Sumberwuluh area, rescue teams battled poor weather to retrieve victims from the rubble.

Search and rescue teams evacuate the bodies of those who died in the eruption in Sumberwuluh Village


Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The weather is the main obstacle, according to the national search and rescue agency Basarnas.

Operations director Wuryanto added: “Hopefully the weather going forward will be good enough to make it easier for us to search.”

People have posted photos of missing loved ones on Facebook, with pleas for any information about their whereabouts.

A villager carries out his motorbike after the eruption of Mount Semeru



Complicating logistics and rescue efforts, lava flows from Saturday’s eruption destroyed a bridge connecting two areas in the district of Lumajang with the city of Malang.

Public kitchens and health facilities have been set up for more than 1,700 people who have been displaced.

Experts warn that seismic activity remains



Semeru is one of more than 100 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a country that straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic activity that rests atop multiple tectonic plates.

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