Indonesia’s Merapi volcano erupts, spewing hot clouds

© Reuters. Merapi volcano eruption as seen from Changklingan, Indonesia on March 11, 2023. This still image taken from a video. Handout by Sumo Sulis/REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Merapi volcano erupted on Saturday, spewing hot clouds up to seven kilometers, the country’s disaster management agency said in a statement.

A volcano located in the Special Region of Yogyakarta in Indonesia erupted around 12:00 pm (0500 GMT) local time, and a 1.5 km lava flow was observed, local officials said.

Residents of nearby communities have been warned to cease activity in the danger zone within a 3- to 7-kilometer radius of the crater, the statement said.

At 2,963 meters (9,721 feet) high, Mount Merapi is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes and had already reached the country’s second highest alert level.

Yulianto, a local watchdog official, said residents had not been evacuated.

“This was only observed as a one-off event, with five to six avalanches. If the range continues to increase and the distance exceeds seven kilometers, residents may be advised to evacuate.” he said.

Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia has more volcanoes than any other country. Mount Merapi violently erupted in 2010, killing more than 350 people.

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