Mount Merapi, on the main island of Java, unleashed searing gas clouds, Indonesia’s Geology and Volcanology Research Agency said. The agency warned villagers on Merapi’s slopes to stay 1.8 miles from the dangerous crater mouth. Ash from the eruption made rain thick and muddy in several villages. Witnesses said the sound was heard 18 miles away.
A resident of Boyolali regency, said: “There was a thundering noise for at least five minutes and I could see the ash clouds from my house.”
The agency did not raise the alert status of Merapi, which was already at the third-highest level due to its ongoing activity.
Authorities temporarily shut Solo city’s international airport around 40 kilometres away after the early morning eruption.
Indonesia’s volcano agency warned of possible dangers from flowing lava and pyroclastic flows.
The fast-moving mixture of hot gas and volcanic material can leave devestation in its wake.
Merapi, a 9,737-foot mountain, is the most active of 500 Indonesian volcanoes.
It has rumbled and generated dark hot clouds since last year. Its last major eruption in 2010 killed 353 people.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 240 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines around the ocean.
This is a developing story, more to follow…
Published at Tue, 03 Mar 2020 09:22:00 +0000