Mount Semeru Volcano Alert Status Lowered

10 December 2022 00:00 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Bandung - Head of the Geological Agency at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Muhammad Wafid, confirmed that the alert status of Mount Semeru was lowered from the highest level IV or Awas to Level III or Siaga at 12:00 PM western Indonesian time (WIB), December 9, 2022.

"The alert status will be reviewed again if there are volcanic earthquakes and deformations related to the process of supplying magma to the surface [low-frequency earthquakes, tremors, tilt meters, and GPS] in a significant trend," Wafid explained in a written statement on Friday, December 9, 2022.

Despite the lower alert status, the Geological Agency warned residents not to carry out any activities in the southeastern sector along Besuk Kobokan and Kali Lanang, 13 kilometers from the mount's crater.

Outside of this distance, residents are asked not to carry out activities in the river and at a distance of 500 meters along the Besuk Kobokan river because it has the potential to be affected by the expansion of hot clouds and lava flows up to 17 kilometers from the summit.

"The public should comply with the recommendations issued by the Geological Agency through the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), and not be provoked by baseless news regarding the activities of Mount Semeru," Wafid emphasized.

Based on visual observations, there is still eruptive activity on the highest mountain in Java island which creates pyroclastic cones or lava tongues. In addition, white smoke continues to spew with weak pressure and a thin to a moderate intensity at a height of 500 meters from the summit.

"There are still two hot cloud avalanches with sliding distances of up to 6 kilometers to the southeast. Lava avalanches are observed at a distance of 300-500 meters to the southeast,"  Wafid explained.

Deep and shallow volcanic earthquakes are still recorded in fluctuating trends. Since Mount Semeru’s volcano status was raised to Awas on December 4, 2022, following the high eruption, four hot clouds have been recorded with decreasing duration and sliding distance.

AHMAD FIKRI (CONTRIBUTOR)

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