At least 14 people have died after Indonesia’s Mount Semeru volcano erupted Sunday evening, spewing a plume of hot ash high into the sky, officials said.
Thousands of residents were evacuated from the area surrounding the volcano before it erupted, according to Indonesian volcanologist Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the head of the country’s Disaster Mitigation Agency.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is home to more than 130 active volcanoes. Experts have warned about the possibility of an eruption at Mount Semeru in recent weeks.
“Many young people are visiting the mountain so they have no better option. There are no really good recommendations on how to protect yourself,” Nugroho told the Associated Press, noting the volcano was expected to remain active for a while.
Indonesia has more than two dozen active volcanoes
Mount Semeru is located in central Sulawesi island in eastern Indonesia.
According to Lombok’s provincial disaster management agency, the crater lake is completely filled with water now.