333 Foreign and 56 Domestic Tourists Trapped After Mt. Barujari Eruption

Indonesian authorities are searching for several hundred tourists after Mount Barujari on Lombok island spewed a massive column of ash into the atmosphere and have evacuated more than 1,100 others, the country’s disaster agency said Wednesday.

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Mount Barujari unexpectedly erupted on Tuesday (27/09). (Antara Photo/Santanu Bendesa)

The volcano, also known as the Child of Rinjani because it sits within the Mount Rinjani caldera, erupted without warning on Tuesday afternoon, delaying flights from airports on the islands of Lombok and Bali. The ash column reached 2,000 meters (6,560 feet).

Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that nearly 400 tourists, data shows 333 foreign tourists and 56 domestic tourists had been registered since Sunday to climb the mountain, leaving from Sembalun monitoring post, about 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the volcano’s crater.

There have been no reports of injuries from the eruption.

Heronimus Guru, the deputy operations chief at Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency, said Wednesday that about 120 tourists, mainly foreigners, had been located so far and were heading down the mountain.

The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center has warned tourists and residents not to move within a three kilometer radius of Mount Barujari’s crater, situated in the caldera of Mount Rinjani, Sutopo said.

The eruption interrupted flights for several hours at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali and Lombok International Airport.

Farms and trees around the 3,726-meter (12,224-foot) -high volcano were coated in a thin layer of gray ash, but nearby towns and villages were not in danger, Nugroho said.

Rinjani is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The archipelago is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

-AP

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