As of Tuesday, at least 34 people died and over 100 others were injured, mostly from burns. Dozens of miners are still missing.
The eruption also damaged 2,970 houses, 38 school buildings, cut a bridge connecting districts, and forced 3,697 people to evacuate.
by Hayati Nupus
JAKARTA, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Villagers have been left in fears and frustrations by Last Saturday's eruption of Semeru, the highest mountain in Indonesia's Java island, which has seriously destroyed surrounding villages.
Sukarno Adim, aged 55, recalled that he was on his way back home and witnessed thick volcanic ash rising high over his village of Gumukmas, one of the settlements closest to the summit, when the eruption began.
People were running down the mountain in search of safer places while protecting their breaths from the dangerous volcanic ash.
"When Semeru erupted, volcanic ash used to come down to the north, where the rivers are, but this time to the south, to our village," Adim told Xinhua on Monday.
Then he looked for his family and found his wife and younger siblings safe in an evacuation camp.
After the eruption subsided, some people went back to their villages and Adim found the roof of his house covered with ash as thick as five centimeters.
Meanwhile, his relatives who live in Sumbersari, a village where hot clouds passed by, arrived at the evacuation camp in a psychologically shaken condition.
"They lost their hopes as dozens of houses as well as agricultural land and plantations there were buried by ashes," Adim added.
In other villages, people returned to their homes when the eruption has subsided, to secure their belongings and feed their remaining animals, and then went back to the evacuation camp in the afternoon.
The 3,676-meter-high mountain which is in the second-level status, erupted on Saturday at 3:20 p.m. local time.
As of Tuesday, at least 34 people died and over 100 others were injured, mostly from burns, according to the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).
Meanwhile, dozens of miners, who were working on the rivers when the eruption occurred, are still missing.
The eruption also damaged 2,970 houses, 38 school buildings, cut a bridge connecting districts, and forced 3,697 people to evacuate, according to the BNPB.
"They fled as their houses were damaged," said BNPB's spokesman Abdul Muhari.
The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center on Tuesday recorded at least seven avalanches from Semeru's crater.
Authorities advised that people avoid the danger zone, within one kilometer radius from the summit and a distance of five kilometers towards the crater opening in the south-southeast sector, where lava, lahars and hot clouds flowed.