Indonesia's Merapi erupts again

Red-hot lava flowing down from the crater of Mount Merapi as seen from Kaliurang, in Yogyakarta, yesterday. Residents near the volcano, which has been erupting sporadically since January, have been warned to avoid the area within a 5km radius of the
Red-hot lava flowing down from the crater of Mount Merapi as seen from Kaliurang, in Yogyakarta, yesterday. Residents near the volcano, which has been erupting sporadically since January, have been warned to avoid the area within a 5km radius of the crater.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JAKARTA • Indonesia's Mount Merapi, one of the world's most active volcanoes, erupted yesterday, belching out fiery red lava.

The volcano, close to Indonesia's cultural capital Yogyakarta on Java island, had already spewed lava almost two dozen times over the last two days and caused hundreds of minor volcanic quakes, according to a report by Indonesia's geological agency.

"This morning, lava avalanches were observed seven times," the agency said yesterday, with the lava travelling up to 700m to the south-west.

However, an official warning over the status of the volcano was unchanged at its second-highest level, where it has remained since November last year.

Nearby residents were told to avoid the area within a 5km radius of the crater and were warned about the lava as well as airborne volcanic material.

Last month, the volcano spewed clouds of smoke and ash that billowed down its sides. Merapi's last major eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of around 280,000 residents.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2021, with the headline 'Indonesia's Merapi erupts again'. Subscribe