Ashes falling from a volcano in Indonesia have buried villages to the roofs of their homes.
At least 14 people died and dozens were injured after Mount Semeru erupted in Lumajang, in East Java.
Smoke and ash rise from Mount Semeru in Lumajang district, East Java on Saturday afternoon.
Homes, cars and roads have been covered with volcanic ash and a desperate search is underway for survivors, many of whom have been buried.
Thousands of people were forced to leave their homes, but one resident said some locals thought it was just normal flooding.
He told AFP: “We didn’t know it was hot mud. Suddenly, the sky darkened as it rained and hot smoke rose. Fortunately, it was raining so we could breathe.”
People photographed inspecting ash-covered areas in Lumajang, East Java.
Taufiq Ismail Marzuqi, who was filming the work of exhuming the bodies, told Reuters the rescue efforts were “very dire”.
Terrified locals ran for their lives when black smoke filled the sky around 2:30 p.m. local time – blackening the sun in two areas.
Officials confirmed that 41 people were burned after the eruption, while thousands of residents were evacuated.
However, the efforts of emergency responders were hampered by suffocating smoke, power outages and rainstorms.
The downpour sent thick swaths of mud over villages and destroyed at least one bridge connecting Pronojiwo and Candipuro.
About 30 buildings were also devastated by the eruption while another road and overpass from the area to the nearby city of Malang was cut off by debris.
Thoriqul Haq, a local official, told Reuters: “This is a very urgent situation, fast since it broke out.”
Lumajang district deputy chief of staff, Indah Masdar, said: “We are in great trouble. It is miserable, their families are all crying.”
Rescue teams were forced to take helicopters into the disaster area to rescue at least 10 locals trapped in buildings.
Scary videos shared on social media showed people screaming in terror and running away from the thick smoke.
Others tried to find shelter from falling ash that damaged infrastructure in the area.
The local government set up a no-go zone within 3 miles of the crater.
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) warns airlines that the ash cloud is above cruising altitude for most aircraft and can cause deflection.
We are in great trouble. What a pity, their family all cried.
They say the ash appears to have separated from the summit and is drifting southwest over the Indian Ocean.
Meteorologist Campbell Biggs told the BBC that as well as affecting visibility and cabin air quality, the ash that solidifies on cooler parts of aircraft engines can paralyze thousands of engines. feet in the air.
Mount Semeru – the highest volcano on the island of Java – previously erupted in January of this year.
But Biggs said Saturday’s eruption marked a “fairly significant increase in intensity” of the crater.
He said that the ash cloud should slowly disperse.
Mount Semeru is 3,676m above sea level and is among about 130 other active volcanoes in Indonesia.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16948877/mount-semeru-eruption-ash-cloud/ Mount Semeru – Searching for survivors as ash from Indonesian volcano buries villages to rooftops killing 14