The death toll following the eruption of the highest and most active volcano on Indonesia’s Java island has risen to 48, authorities said on Tuesday.
Search operations are still ongoing and at least four rescue teams are currently on the ground, according to Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB).
Nearly 10,000 people have been moved out of nearby areas since Mt. Semeru erupted on Dec. 4, the agency said.
The volcano spewed thick columns of ash thousands of meters into the sky and searing lava flowed down its slopes after heavy rains sparked the sudden eruption.
Several villages were blanketed with falling ash and houses damaged by volcanic debris.
Mt. Semeru, which stands 3,676 meters (over 12,000 feet) above sea level, previously erupted in December 2020 and January this year.
Indonesia, an archipelago home to nearly 275 million people, sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an area with several fault lines that make it prone to frequent volcanic activity and earthquakes.