March 5, 2021

Lightning strikes the centre of an erupting volcano in Indonesia

This image from the Indonesian Geological Agency shows lightning striking Mount Semeru as it spews...

This image from the Indonesian Geological Agency shows lightning striking Mount Semeru as it spews volcanic materials during an eruption in Lumajang, East Java, Indonesia (Credits: EPA)

This is the apocalyptic moment a bolt of lightning struck Mount Semeru as the active volcano was erupting in East Java, Indonesia.

Indonesian authorities have evacuated thousands of people in the area as falling ash and sulphur blanketed villages around the volcano’s slopes.

Mount Semeru stands 3,676-metres (12,060-feet) tall and is the highest volcano in the Lumajang district on Indonesia’s most densely populated island of Java.

So far, there have been no reports of serious injuries to anyone in the area or damage to property – but the situation is ongoing.

Mount Semeru is one of several volcanoes on Java and the eruption came just two days after Mount Ili Lewotolok shot out columns of hot cloud as high as 4,000 metres (13,100 feet).

Volcanic materials spew from the crater of Mount Semeru

Volcanic materials spew from the crater of Mount Semeru (Credits: AP)

A police officer inspects a sand mining site affected by the eruption of Mount Semeru

A police officer inspects a sand mining site affected by the eruption of Mount Semeru (Credits: AP)

Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center said on its website that the area near the volcano is likely to be inundated with ‘hot clouds, lava stream, lava avalanche, and poisonous gas’.

Indonesian women sit on the back of a truck as they prepare to evacuate their homes following the eruption of Mount Semeru in Lumajang, East Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Indonesian authorities are closely monitoring several volcanoes after sensors picked up increased activity in recent weeks, prompting the evacuation of thousands of people. (AP Photo)

Indonesian women sit on the back of a truck as they prepare to evacuate their homes following the eruption of Mount Semeru (Credits: AP)

Indonesia itself contains about 120 active volcanoes.

The country is prone to lots of seismic activity due to its location on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire. This is a ring of volcanoes along fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.


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