Indonesia raised to the highest level the warning issued after the eruption of the Semeru volcano on the island of Java on Sunday, Reuters reported, citing local media.

The evacuation of people living near the volcano in East Java province has begun.

Indonesia's Semeru volcano erupted, spewing a plume of ash 1.5km into the air.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 was recorded on the Indonesian island of Java

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency BNPB warned residents not to carry out any activities within a 5km radius of the eruption center and to stay 500m away from riverbanks due to the danger of lava flows.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said it was monitoring the possibility of a tsunami following the eruption, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The volcano started erupting at 19:46 GMT.

Videos posted on social media showed gray clouds of ash in nearby areas.

Death toll from Indonesia's Semeru volcano eruption rises to 39, 12 missing

Indonesian authorities distributed masks to local residents, the BNPB statement said, adding that volcanic activity remained at level 3, below the highest level 4.

With its 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the world's largest population living near a volcano, including 8.6 million people within a 10km radius, BTV added.

Indonesia

Island of Java

volcano