Hot cloud of volcanic materials run down the slope of Mount Merapi during an eruption in Sleman, Indonesia. AP
Indonesia’s most active volcano erupted on Wednesday with a river of lava and searing gas clouds flowing 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) down its slopes.
It was Mount Merapi’s biggest lava flow since authorities raised its danger level in November, said Hanik Humaida, the head of Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center.
Authorities in November had evacuated nearly 2,000 people living on the mountain in Magelang and Sleman districts on Java Island but most have since returned. There has been no new evacuation.
The alert was being maintained at the second-highest level and authorities told people to stay out of the existing 5-kilometer danger zone around the crater as the local administrations in Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces closely monitor the situation.
The 2,968-meter (9,737-foot) volcano is on the densely populated island of Java and near the ancient city of Yogyakarta. It is the most active of dozens of Indonesian volcanoes and has repeatedly erupted with lava and gas clouds recently.
Merapi's last major eruption in 2010 killed 347 people.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the ocean.
Huge smoke and ash coming out of Mount Semeru in Indonesia forced thousands to flee to safer places on Saturday. According to the country's disaster mitigation agency there were no immediate reports of casualties after Mount Semeru erupted.
Authorities were building up some shelters in several locations in Lumajang.
A volcano erupted on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, causing some overnight flight cancellations to and from Australia as an ash cloud rose into the sky, officials said on Saturday.
No casualties were reported, but an official had earlier urged people to stay at least 3 km from the crater, Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre said.
A number of officials accompanied by senior members of the Royal Family were at Abu Dhabi airport for the interaction with PM.
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