A high-level eruption occurred at Indonesia’s Semeru volcano on December 4, 2022, prompting authorities to raise the Alert Level from III to IV — the highest. The last major eruption at this volcano took place on December 4, 2021, leaving 51 people dead and several hundred others injured.

VONA issued by the Semeru Volcano Observatory at 02:18 UTC today indicated eruption to 8.6 km (28 000 feet) above sea level, but IR temperature of -66 °C (-86.8 °F) indicated eruption is significantly higher to 15.2 km (50 000 feet) a.s.l., moving SW, according to the Darwin VAAC VA Advisory issued at 03:05 UTC.1

The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red.

Volcanic ash is currently obscured by meteorological clouds but the eruption is expected to be ongoing based on ground reports and webcam. Ash cloud was observed reaching 15.2 km (50 000 feet) in Himawari-8 satellite imagery at 05:00 UTC, Darwin VAAC said at 09:15 UTC.

Several hundred people living near the volcano were evacuated to temporary shelters or other safe areas. Authorities advised everyone to stay away 8 km (5 miles) from the crater and avoid the southeastern sector area along the Besuk Kobokan river located about 13 km (8 miles) from the crater.

There have been no reports of injuries or deaths so far.

Several villages were blanketed in sun-blocking ash.