Death toll from volcano eruption in Indonesia reaches 34
JAKARTA. KAZINFORM The death toll from Saturday's eruption of a volcano on the main island of Java rose to 34 on Tuesday after rescuers reached some areas earlier inaccessible, while 17 people remain missing, a spokesman of Indonesia's disaster agency said.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Abdul Muhari told Kyodo News that about 3,700 people have been displaced. Authorities earlier said that at least 3,000 houses were damaged and 169 people injured by the eruption of Mt. Semeru in East Java Province, Kyodo reports.
Tuesday, rescuers searched for residents who could be buried under the volcanic debris in two villages and a sand mining area, which were among the most-affected areas but earlier inaccessible because the soil was still hot.
Hot ash from the 3,676-meter-high volcano had reached an area as far as 11 kilometers from the crater near its peak, destroying and burning everything -- vegetation, livestock and houses -- along the way.
President Joko Widodo visited an affected village and pledged to ensure that the displaced people «have been well taken care of,» while also expressing his condolences to the disaster victims.
He said more than 2,000 houses will be relocated to safer areas.
Almost 1,000 rescuers, including from the military and police, have been deployed during the search and rescue operations.
With eruptions ongoing, the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation has advised residents and others to remain 1-5 km away from the peak, depending on where they are in relation to the volcano.
The center also warned against mudflows caused by rain.
Java is home to numerous volcanoes, of which Semeru is the highest.