Indonesia volcanic eruption: downpours hamper rescue operations hinh anh 1Heavy rains have hindered the rescue operations after the eruption of Mount Semeru in Indonesia. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Heavy rains have hindered the rescue operations after the eruption of Mount Semeru left at least 14 dead and nine others missing, the spokesperson of Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Abdul Muhari said on December 5.

Mount Semeru in Lumajang district of Indonesia's East Java province erupted on December 4.

The country's geological agency said rain is expected in the next three days that could further hinder rescue work.

As many as 1,300 people have taken shelters to evacuation centers, the spokesman said, adding that health protocols would be applied at the centers.

Some 20,000 face masks have been sent to the evacuation centers, not only to prevent corona viruses from spreading but also to avert respiratory problems, he said.

The official said the Indonesian government would provide aid in cash of 500,000 rupiahs (about 34.7 USD) per month for one family within the next six months for renting houses, while the government would look for new locations to build houses for those affected by the disaster.

Logistics aids for the affected people have been distributed to the evacuation centers, Muhari said.

The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center's Head Andiani said the eruption on December 4 released hot clouds by up to 11 km from the crater, and on December 5 the volcano also spewed hot clouds twice.

Volcanic ashes along with heavy downpours have become thick mud which submerged houses, roads and other infrastructure facilities in Lumajang district./.