The activity of the Indonesian volcano Semeru continues. After the tragic eruption three days ago, which caused the death of at least 15 people in the early hours, a toll which today has risen to 34 victims, a quantity of ash continues to emerge from the crater of the highest mountain on the island of Java. hinders the search for 22 missing persons.
The photos taken from the airplanes show a landscape covered with mud and volcanic ash, which has engulfed entire streets, houses and means of transport. Due to the new ash eruptions, rescue teams had to stop searching in some areas.
Excavations to find any survivors or their bodies are made even more difficult by the hardening of the lava; the authorities have prohibited the locals from approaching the crater: the air is in fact unbreathable and can create health problems.
Of the missing, about fifteen were in the office of a sand mine in the village of Kampung Renteng was buried after the eruption; others were buried while in their car.
Indonesia is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity, and has about 130 active volcanoes.
Pope Francis expressed in a telegram his condolences for the victims and the destruction caused by the eruption. In a message signed by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and sent to the Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia, Monsignor Piero Pioppo, the Pontiff expresses “solidarity with all those affected by this immense tragedy”. The Pope also “assures his prayers for the dead, the wounded and the displaced as well as for the emergency personnel and the civil authorities involved in recovery operations”. “As a sign of his spiritual closeness”, finally, “he invokes the divine blessings of strength and peace”.