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Indonesia: Merapi volcano erupts, raising alarm

March 11, 2023

The nearly 3,000 meter-high Merapi volcano is among Indonesia's most active. Its last eruption in 2010 killed over 300 people.

Mount Merapi volcano erupts, as seen from Cangkringan, Indonesia, March 11, 2023.
A volcanic eruption was reported in Indonesia's Mount MerapiImage: Sumo Sulis/Handout via REUTERS

Indonesia's Merapi volcano erupted on Saturday, ejecting hot clouds and lava flows up to seven kilometers, the country's disaster management agency said.

Located in the special Yogyakarta region, the volcano is among Indonesia's most active

How serious is the eruption?

The agency warned residents in the nearby community to halt any activities in the danger zone. It added that no immediate casualties were reported.

The zone's parameters range between three to seven kilometers' (4.5 mile) radius from the crater. The agency posted a video on Twitter showing the eruption.

Residents were not immediately evacuated, an official at the local monitoring post said in the agency's statement. He added that it would recommend residents evacuate if the volcanic coverage exceeds a seven-kilometer distance.

A pedicab passes on a road covered by ash from the eruption of Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano, in Magelang, Central Java province, Indonesia, March 11, 2023.
The volcanic ash affected at least eight villages near the volcanoImage: Antara Foto/Anis Efizudin via REUTERS

The volcanic ash affected at least eight villages near the volcano, another officer at a Merapi observation post said in the statement.

What do we know about Merapi?

Standing at 2,968 meters (9,700 feet), the Merapi mountain is some 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of the city of Yogyakarta, the centuries-old seat of royal dynasties.

The 10 kilometers (6 miles) surrounding the volcano are home to some 250,000 people.

The volcano's last major eruption was in 2010, when over 300 people were killed and tens of thousands more were displaced.

It showed renewed activity in late 2020. Since then, its alert status has remained at the second-highest level.

Home to nearly 130 active volcanoes, Indonesia sits on the Pacific "ring of fire," where continental plates meet, sparking high volcanic and seismic activity.

Volcano erupts on Indonesia's main island Java

rmt/ar (AFP, AP, Reuters)