The Jakarta Globe has posted many reports today on its home page about the eruption. Here's one: Death Toll Rises as Tens of Thousands Flee Mount Kelud Eruption. Excerpt from a long report:
Tens of thousands of people fled their homes on Friday, seeking refuge in crowded shelters in Central Java, as the island’s Mount Kelud erupted, showering the region in ash and grounding flights in both Indonesia and abroad.
Three people were killed in the immediate aftermath of Mount Kelud’s explosive eruption late Thursday night as more than 76,000 residents fled a dangerous storm of ash and rocks “the size of fists,” Agence France-Presse reported.
“The whole place was shaking — it was like we were on a ship in high seas,” Sunar told AFP. “We fled and could see lava in the distance flowing into a river.”
The volcano’s violent eruption was heard as far away as Yogyakarta as Mount Kelud spewed debris some 17 kilometers into the sky.
“It was like fireworks,” Dian Julihadi, 32, from Blitar district, told AFP. “There was a loud bang and bright red lights shot up into the air.”
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) urged some 200,000 people in a 10-kilometer area around Mount Kelud, in Kediri district, East Java, to evacuate their homes. By Friday night only 76,388 people had left their homes, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told the Jakarta Globe.
The spokesman told AFP that several men tried to return to their homes in a last-minute effort to save their belongs. All were forced to turn back as volcanic debris continued to rain down on the area, he said.
In Malang, the roof of an evacuation shelter collapsed under the weight of the ash, crushing an elderly man and woman on Thursday. Another man died after inhaling the ash, according to reports by AFP.
Evacuees were crowded into an evacuation shelter in Malang, East Java, when the structure collapsed, said Sriono, a local resident who sought refuge in the building.
“At the time there were about 30 people [in the room],” Sriono told the Jakarta Globe. “We were waiting for a shuttle to be evacuated to the city of Batu [East Java] when the roof and walls suddenly collapsed. It was unable to withstand the [weight of the] falling ash.”
The man’s wife suffered serious injuries in the collapse.
“My wife had a fracture on the back of her head and cuts on her temples,” he said. “Two other victims died on the spot.”
The volcano was calm by Friday night, but ash continued to fall as far away as Bandung, West Java.
“The latest information said the eruption had stopped, but that volcanic ash was still falling,” Malang district chief Rendra Kresna told the Jakarta Globe. “The refugees will remain in the camps until the ash-fall subsides.”
The region will remain under alert until March 12, the local government announced.