Foreign Office issues travel warning for holiday hotspot over volcano eruption | The Sun

THE UK Foreign Office has warned against travelling to a popular holiday hotspot following the eruption of a volcano.

On Sunday, Mount Semeru erupted in Indonesia, leading to an exclusion zone being put in place by local authorities.

Although no casualties have been reported as of yet, around 2,000 people have been evacuated.

The volcano sent a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air and sent rivers of lava flowing from the summit on Sunday, forcing villagers nearby to flee.

The mountain is around 400m east of Indonesia's capital Jakarta, not too far from holiday hotspots, Bali and Lombok.

The Foreign Office say it is still okay for tourists to visit those places, but have advised against travel within 5 km of the Mount Sinabung crater in Kalo Regency, North Sumatra.

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They also advise against travelling within 5km of the crater of Mount Semeru in Lumajang Regency, East Java.

Travellers have additionally been told to avoid the southeast area of Mount Semeru along the Besuk Kobokan river, approximately 13km from the crater, and 500m from any Besuk Kobokan riverbank.

The volcano is not the only natural disaster causing problems for tourists in the region.

The Foreign Office is still advising tourists to steer clear of Cianjur, West Java after a magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit on November 22, with the area still suffering aftershocks.

The FCDO says it is in contact with local authorities, but urges tourists to remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local security authorities and/or tour operators.

Mount Semeru's eruption comes just one year after at least 50 people were killed when the same volcano in Indonesia's main island Java exploded.

One clip of the huge eruption showed an "avalanche" of 704C ash crashing into a series of valleys.

Burning hot ash clouds had drifted almost 19 km from the centre of the eruption, according to Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG).

PVMBG chief Hendra Gunawan said a bigger volume of magma could have built up compared with previous eruptions of the volcano, in 2021 and 2020, which could mean greater danger for a bigger area.

He said: "Semeru's hot clouds could reach further and at a distance where there are many residences".

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world's largest population living close range to volcano, with 8.6 million people within 10km of one.

Natural disasters are frequent in Indonesia, with a magnitude-7.5 earthquake and 10-foot-high tsunami striking the Central Sulawesi region back in 2018.

Two cities and several settlements on the northeastern coast of Sulawesi island were hit including Palu, which was battered by huge waves travelling at 500mph.

Tourists were also urged to steer clear of Bali's Mount Agung just a couple of months after as it erupted and spewed clouds of ash high into the sky.

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Meanwhile, this tourist's holiday to Indonesia went wrong after he tried to get the "perfect" photo.

And unmarried Brits have also been warned against having sex while travelling in Indonesia due to strict new laws.


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