Indonesia orders 200,000 to evacuate as volcano erupts
JAKARTA (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of Indonesians were ordered to evacuate on Friday after a volcano on the main island of Java erupted spectacularly, hurling red hot ash and rocks over a huge distance.
The alert status for Mount Kelud, considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes on densely populated Java, was raised late Thursday just hours before it began erupting.
TV pictures showed ash and rocks raining down on nearby villages as terrified locals fled in cars and on motorbikes towards evacuation centres.
National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that some 200,000 people from 36 villages in a 10-kilometre (six-mile) area around Kelud, in Kediri district in eastern Java, were being asked to evacuate.