Villagers ride on a truck as they leave their homes on a street covered by volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi in Muntilan, Indonesia. — PHOTO: AP
WUKIRSARI (Indonesia) – INDONESIA ordered thousands more people to evacuate their villages Thursday as the country’s most active volcano erupted again, shooting deadly gas and ash into the sky.
Volcanologists said the ‘high intensity’ eruption was the strongest yet from the 2,914-metre Mount Merapi, but there were no reports of new casualties after 36 people were killed last week.
‘Today’s eruption is bigger than yesterday’s. Heat clouds and volcanic material were shot 10 km into the sky,’ a government scientist said in Yogyakarta, which lies south of the volcano.
An avalanche of heat clouds that can kill anything in their path streamed nine kilometres down the slopes of the volcano, a sacred landmark in Javanese tradition whose name translates as ‘Mountain of Fire’.
Residents of an emergency shelter in Wukirsari village of Sleman district, about 20 kilometres from the volcano’s peak, said it spat heat clouds and debris for about three hours after dawn. Scientists however said it had erupted throughout the night.
Officials said the number of people at safety shelters rose to 90,000 from 75,000 on Wednesday, when the official exclusion zone was widened from 10 to 15 kilometres around the volcano. — AFP
Source : Straits Times