The British Foreign Office has warned against traveling to a popular holiday hotspot after a volcanic eruption.
Indonesia’s Mount Semeru erupted on Sunday, prompting the establishment of a lockdown zone by local authorities.
Although no casualties have been reported so far, around 2,000 people have been evacuated.
The volcano on Sunday sent an ash plume thousands of feet into the air and lava flows that poured from the summit, forcing nearby villagers to flee.
The mountain is around 400 m east of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, not too far from the holiday hotspots of Bali and Lombok.
The Foreign Office says it is still fine for tourists to visit these sites but has advised against travel within 5km of Mount Sinabung Crater in Kalo Regency, North Sumatra.
They also advise against traveling within a 5km radius of the crater of Mount Semeru in Lumajang Regency, East Java.
Travelers were also told to avoid the south-eastern area of Mt. Semeru along the Besuk Kobokan River, about 13 km from the crater and 500 m from either river bank of the Besuk Kobokan.
The volcano isn’t the only natural disaster troubling tourists in the region.
The Foreign Office is still advising tourists to avoid Cianjur, West Java, after a 5.6 magnitude earthquake on November 22 as the area is still suffering from aftershocks.
The FCDO says it is in contact with local authorities but urges tourists to remain vigilant and follow advice from local safety authorities and/or tour operators.
Mount Semeru’s eruption comes just a year after at least 50 people were killed when the same volcano erupted on Indonesia’s main island of Java.
A clip from the powerful eruption showed an “avalanche” of 704C ash falling into a series of valleys.
According to the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), flaming hot ash plumes were nearly 12 miles (19 km) from the center of the eruption.
PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said a larger volume of magma could have built up in 2021 and 2020 compared to previous volcanic eruptions, which could pose a greater risk to a larger area.
He said, “Semeru’s hot clouds could reach farther and at a distance where there are many dwellings.”
With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world’s largest population living in close proximity to a volcano, with 8.6 million people living within 10 km of one.
Natural disasters are common in Indonesia, with a 7.5-magnitude earthquake and 10-foot tsunami hitting the Central Sulawesi region in 2018.
Two towns and several settlements on the northeast coast of Sulawesi island were hit, including Palu, which was battered by huge 800 km/h waves.
Tourists were also urged to avoid Bali’s Mount Agung just a few months later as it erupted, spewing plumes of ash high into the sky.
Meanwhile, this tourist’s vacation in Indonesia went awry after trying to capture the “perfect” photo.
And unmarried Britons have also been warned against having sex while traveling in Indonesia due to tough new laws.
https://www.the-sun.com/travel/6851781/volcano-indonesia-foreign-office-warning/ Foreign Office issues travel warning for holiday hotspot over volcano eruption