The Indonesian Volcanology Center has raised a maximum alert on the Mount Semeru volcano in East Java, warning of potentially dangerous lava flows.
The 3,676-metre (12,060-ft) Semeru is one of the most active volcanoes on Java Island. Geographically, it’s located at the position of 8° 06’ 30’’ Latitude and 112° 55’ Longitude. Its highest point is called Mahameru (+ 3676 meter) which is the highest peak on Java. Seven people were killed by the mountain's heat clouds in 1994.
The alert status was raised on the afternoon of Friday, March 6, 2009, following a number of volcanic quakes indicating that there might be a larger eruption. The authority said that at the moment it was not necessary to evacuate residents around the mountain, but warned those carrying out activities such as sand mining to avoid rivers because of lava flows and forbade climbers to access the area within 4 km of the peak. Indonesians often live and work on the slopes of volcanoes because of the rich volcanic soil and supplies of minerals.
Based on satellite images, volcanic activity so far would not disturb air traffic. The nearest major city to Semeru is Surabaya. The area is also popular with hikers and nearby Mount Bromo is a well known tourist site.