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Cold lava, floods hit East Java

Earth News
Java, Indonesia
March 27, 2007

Heavy rains over the past week have resulted in cold lava flows on Mount Semeru, worrying the Lumajang regency administration in East Java, which is now preparing for heavy floods. Riverflow areas were the main paths of cold lava from Mount Semeru and volcanic material such as sand and rocks has been pouring down the mountain since March 23. "It still contains a million cubic meters of material at its peak that could fall down." The office has also urged hundreds of traditional sand miners in those areas to be wary. "The Lumajang administration cannot prohibit them (from working), but only urge them to be careful in carrying out their activities." Earlier reports said that a cold lava flow had destroyed a 20-meter stretch of river dikes in Pasru Jambe district and a bridge in Pandansari village. Mount Semeru's status is classified as "alert". Images in February showed thin white sulfurous gas from medium to high pressure at a height of 25 to 75 meters above its crater, while 107 eruptions have occurred, spewing gray smoke at medium to high pressure at 300 to 600 meters above the crater. Crater growth and molten lava has not been observed since February. In Malang, flash floods on March 23 stemming from the Lesti River, a tributary of the Barantas River, killed one person and damaged seven bridges, three irrigation dams, hundreds of hectares of crops and water pipes.
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