Mer­api spews vol­canic ash 6km into air

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

SHOOT­ING ash plumes as high as six kilo­me­tres into the sky and forc­ing the clo­sure of two air­ports, In­done­sia’s Mount Mer­api has spec­tac­u­larly erupted twice in one day.

De­spite the amaz­ing

dis­play, the lo­cal Na­tional Dis­as­ter Mit­i­ga­tion Agency said the vol­cano’s alert sta­tus, raised last month from the low­est level, was un­changed. A three-kilo­me­tre no-go

zone around the crater re­mains in force.

The NDMA said the first erup­tion oc­curred at 8.20am (lo­cal time) on Fri­day and lasted two min­utes. Mer­api erupted again in the evening, spew­ing vol­canic ash as high as 2.4km. Ma­te­ri­als un­leashed by the first erup­tion were blown north­ward, forc­ing the tem­po­rary clo­sure of two air­ports.

The moun­tain is about 30km from Yo­gyakarta city on the densely pop­u­lated is­land of Java. About a quar­ter mil­lion peo­ple live within a 10km ra­dius of the vol­cano.

Mer­api’s last ma­jor erup­tion in 2010 killed 347 peo­ple.

Mount Mer­api shoots vol­canic ash kilo­me­tres into the air. Pic­ture: AP Photo/Slamet Riyadi

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