Rescuers in Indonesia raced to find survivors in villages blanketed by molten ash Sunday after the eruption of Mount Semeru killed at least 13 people and left dozens injured, officials said.

The eruption of the biggest mountain on the island of Java caught locals by surprise on Saturday, sending thousands fleeing and forcing hundreds of families into makeshift shelters.

At least 11 villages of Lumajang district in East Java were coated in volcanic ash, submerging houses and vehicles, smothering livestock and leaving at least 900 evacuees seeking shelter in mosques, schools and village halls.

“We did not know it was hot mud,” said Bunadi, a resident of Kampung Renteng, a village of about 3,000 people. “All of a sudden, the sky turned dark as rains and hot smoke came.”

Dramatic footage showed Semeru pumping a mushroom of ash into the sky, looming over screaming residents of a nearby village as they fled.

“The death toll is now 13 people. Rescuers found more bodies,” national disaster mitigation agency spokesman Abdul Muhari told AFP, without specifying the cause of death.

Two of the victims have been identified, he said in a later statement.

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