Indonesia – Mount Semeru volcano erupts as locals filmed fleeing 40,000ft cloud of ash
Plumes of volcanic ash and smoke plunged parts of the island of Java into darkness on Saturday afternoon.

A volcanic eruption in Indonesia has sent smoke and ash flying 40,000ft in the air and has triggered panic on the island of Java. Videos shared on social media show locals fleeing from the huge plume as ash falls from the sky.

Around 2.50pm on Saturday, Mount Semeru erupted in Lumajang City. Thus far, no casualties have been reported but evacuation operations are ongoing.

A resident living in a nearby village posted a photo of the eruption on social media, writing; “Friends, please pray for me, I hope my family is fine, Just now, it’s really bursting.

The region was also plunged into darkness as ash clouds became so dense that all sunlight was blocked.

Lumajang district head Thoriqul Haq told TVOne: “Thick columns of ash have turned several villages to darkness.”

He added that a bridge connecting Lumajang with the nearby city of Malang had been destroyed by the combined effects of the eruption, a thunderstorm and heavy rains.

The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre issued a warning after the plume of smoke and ash rose an estimated 40,000ft in the air, and began raining down on residents below.

MAGMA Indonesia, an information service reporting on volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, said that the eruption had been recorded on a seismograph with a maximum amplitude of 25mm and a duration of 5160 seconds.

The Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation added that incandescent lava avalanches had been observed, sliding 500-800 metres down the volcano.