Indonesian volcano releases lava river in new eruption

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Indonesia’s most active volcano erupted on Wednesday with a river of lava and scorching gas clouds flowing 1,500 meters down its slopes.
It was the longest lava flow on Mount Merapi since authorities raised the hazard level of the volatile volcano in November, said Hanik Humaida, head of the Yogyakarta Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center.

The alert level was so far maintained at the second highest level, she said, and people should stay outside the existing five-kilometer danger zone around the crater as local governments Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces are monitoring the situation closely.

The 2,968-meter volcano sits on the densely populated island of Java and near the ancient city of Yogyakarta. It is the most active of dozens of Indonesian volcanoes and has recently erupted several times with clouds of lava and gas.

The last major eruption in Merapi in 2010 killed 347 people.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity as it lies along the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, a series of seismic-shaped fault lines. horseshoe around the ocean.

A man sprays insecticide on his crops as Mount Merapi erupts in the background in Sleman, Indonesia, Wednesday. (Slamet Riyadi / The Associated Press)

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