Jakarta: Indonesian authorities have placed Mt. Semeru under level three alert status, the second highest, as it has shown heightening volcanic activities and spewed thick hot clouds and lava in the past 24 hours.
The head of the Geological Agency at the country’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Eko Budi Lelono, said that Mt. Semeru actively spewed hot clouds and its lava flow was still unstable, reports Xinhua news agency.
The volcano could strike at least up to the radius of 2 kilometres from its crater.
Another explosion is highly possible due to the high intensity of rainfall around the volcano, which might cause an increase in lava flow, Lelono said in a written statement.
The higher alert status of Mt. Semeru started on Thursday evening, hours after the volcano erupted again after December 4 and spewed hot clouds several times.
Located in Lumajang district, East Java province, Mt. Semeru had a massive eruption on December 4.
Till now, 48 people have been confirmed dead in the eruption, according to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
The BNPB has confirmed that search and rescue activities for victims are being on hold over the safety of rescuers and volunteers.