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Death toll rises to 13 after Indonesia’s Semeru volcano erupts

The death toll from the Semeru volcano eruption in Indonesia's East Java province has risen to 13, officials said on Sunday.

The death toll from the Semeru volcano eruption in Indonesia’s East Java province has risen to 13, officials said on Sunday.

The eruption on Saturday sent residents fleeing as a huge column of smoke blanketed nearby villages in darkness, turning day into night.

Rescuers stepped up evacuation efforts on Sunday, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said.

Muhari said 41 people were receiving medical treatment for severe burns, while at least 1,000 residents have been displaced after hot ash from the volcano blanketed nearby villages.

The nearly 3,700-metre Semeru, the highest mountain on Java island, has erupted several times since December last year, when hundreds fled their homes to safer locations.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for seismic upheaval, and has about 128 active volcanoes.

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