The Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) has issued a code orange volcano observatory notice for aviation (VONA) after Mount Semeru in East Java erupted on Friday morning.
The head of the PVMBG’s volcano disaster mitigation division for the western part of Indonesia, Nia Herani, said the VONA had to be issued immediately because an observation post on Mount Sawur recorded that the volcano spewed up from its crater columns of ash 400 meters high.
“The columns of ash mostly rose straight up and we will immediately inform this to flight operations,” Nia told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
Nia said the PVMBG would ensure that aviation companies will always be informed about any eruptions that might disturb flights.
“If another eruption is observed, we will issue another VONA,” she said.
The VONA’s colour code warning system includes green, yellow, orange and red.
“Orange means that there is an eruption and the volcano spewed some material but the ash column is under 6 kilometers. When it’s red that means the column is higher than 6 meters,” Nia said.
Mount Semeru has been listed by the PVMBG at alert level two or waspada (caution) since May 2012.
“There is always an eruption on Semeru every day, with around 26 eruptions daily. This is similar to Mount Dukono, which erupts every day.”