On the Indonesian island of Java, at least 13 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a volcanic eruption. Thousands have fled their homes. But hot clouds and smoldering debris caused by the eruption of Mount Semeru are making rescue efforts more difficult.
After being plunged into darkness in the middle of the afternoon, thousands living in the shadow of Mount Semeru decided to flee. Aid workers rushed to help residents caught in the eruption, which left several trapped and dozens more injured.
Some were taken to hospital suffering from severe burns. But rescue efforts were hindered after a volcanic mudflow destroyed the main bridge connecting the worst affected Lumajang region with the nearest big city.
Hundreds have been evacuated, taking shelter at sites like a village mosque; authorities say more help is on the way. But for many in the hardest-hit villages there will be little return to. Their homes have been buried in lava and mud.
Clearing up and rebuilding their lives will take time but for many the challenge is a familiar one – Semeru is one of the most active of Indonesia’s many volcanoes.
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