Merapi spews volcanic ash 6km into air
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