TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s Head of Geological Agency, Eko Budi Lelono, on Sunday said the scale of hot clouds following the eruption of Mount Semeru a day before were much larger than expected and suspects high rainfall contributed to the damaging followup.
He believes the high rain intensity also contributed to the large volume of hot clouds and pledged to mitigate future natural disasters better.
“We identified the hot clouds and eruption, which is typical of Semeru, but yesterday’s event left many questions unanswered, there may be other factors [causing it],” said Eko in a press conference on December 5.
Lelono said Mount Semeru is under close monitoring of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) and urged members of the public to remain vigilant. He also warned people to rely on information from reliable sources such as government disaster mitigation agencies.
Semeru currently remains at Level 2 or alert and warned people that the 1 kilometer radius of the volcanic mountain is off limits. There is also a 5 kilometer “no-go zone” at the southern-southeast area of the mountain crater opening.
Asked separately, volcanologist from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) Mirzam Abdurrachman revealed the same suspicion regarding the influence of rainfall in the impact of the Mount Semeru eruption on Saturday. "This is something new from Semeru," said Mirzam to TEMPO on December 5, 2021.
AHMAD FIKRI (CONTRIBUTOR)