World

At least 14 dead and dozens injured after Java volcano eruption – as smouldering debris and rain hampers the search for those missing

The tallest volcano on the Indonesian island of Java has erupted, killing at least one person and sending huge clouds of ash into the air.

TV footage shows Mount Semeru in the Lumajang district of East Java spewing giant clouds of ash at around 7pm local time (12pm UK) on Saturday as villagers run for shelter.

A volcano monitoring body said the ash clouds had risen up to 50,000ft in the air, with witnesses claiming they had blacked out the sun in some places.

At least one person is reported to have died and 41 people have been left with burn injuries, health officials said.

Around 30 buildings and a bridge were destroyed in the eruption, which was accompanied by thunderstorms that hampered evacuation efforts.

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

He added that a number of people had been moved to temporary shelters or nearby secure areas.

More on Indonesia

The 12,060ft volcano last erupted in January, causing no deaths.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.

Read more: Ring of fire – why does Indonesia have so many earthquakes?

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