34 Died, 16 Still Missing in Semeru Eruption

Diana Mariska
Search and rescue team during evacuation on Monday after Mount Semeru eruption.
Search and rescue team during evacuation on Monday after Mount Semeru eruption. - The National Search and Rescue Agency, or Basarnas, reported that the death toll from Mount Semeru eruption rose to 34 as search and rescue continues evacuation effort. As of the afternoon of Tuesday, December 7, rescuers were also still searching for 16 people.

“Currently, 34 people have died and 16 people are still missing,” head of operations at Basarnas Surabaya I Wayan Suyatna confirmed in Lumajang on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

According to him, at least four rescue teams are involved in the evacuation in several spots including in Curah Kobokan and Renteng villages, as well as sand mines. He also added that majority of victims were found in the two villages.

Most of the bodies were reported to have been buried under volcanic ash and pyroclastic material, but some were found under the ruins of their former homes.

The current weather was considered ideal for the teams to continue search and rescue, as bad weather is always deemed the biggest obstacle.

“So far, the weather is quite good for the evacuation to continue because factors like strong wind and heavy rain, as well as Semeru’s own activities, always pose a hurdle to operational teams to evacuate victims,” Suyatna explained.

However, he added that authorities continue to take into consideration the possibility of Semeru spewing more hot ashes, as they plan the evacuation.

“We prioritize the safety of our evacuation teams during the search for victims. If the weather turns bad, teams will stay in safer areas first before continuing evacuation.”

Bodies found during search and rescue will be taken to Haryoto and Bhayangkara Regional Public Hospitals (RSUD) in Lumajang.

Basarnas Surabaya also reported that 26 people were severely injured and 82 were slightly injured after Mount Semeru erupted on Saturday, December 4. All injured victims have been treated in health facilities and hospitals.

Tag # disaster # semeru # semeru eruption # basarnas

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