Huge volcano eruption kills 49, over 1 mln seek shelters, in Indonesia

10:50, November 05, 2010      

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Mount Merapi volcano erupts spewing out towering clouds of hot gas and debris as seen from Wukirsari village in Sleman, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, November 4, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

A volcano in Central Java of Indonesia re-erupted earlier Friday, the biggest since Oct. 26, killing at least 49 people and injuring seriously 66 others, leading the authorities to extend risky zone to 20 km amid over 1 million people have sough shelters, officials said.

Mount Merapi of 2,968 meters high, erupted again for three hours, starting from at about 12:00 a.m. Jakarta time Friday (1700 GMT Thursday), unleashing continuously hot ash by up to 8 km high and spreading to all direction, official at Volcanology Agency in Yogyakarta Kurniati Rinekso said.

The agency has extended dangerous zone by five km to 20 km since the eruption, he said.

The volcanic ash spread by up to 45 km, hitting nearby cities, including Yogyakarta. At least five houses in Argo Mulyo village of Sleman regency were burned by the hot ash, several people got burn injury, rescuer told Xinhua.

Press officer DR Sardjito General Hospital in Yogyakarta Susan Ananti said that 49 people were killed and 66 other who got serious injury were being treated in hospital.

Ambulance kept coming into the hospital and carrying death body and the injured people to hospital.

According to the local procedure in Yogyakarta, all the death bodies were brought to hospital.

Spokesperson of the national Disaster and mitigation Management Agency Nelis Zuliasri told Xinhua from Jakarta that 976,247 people had been in the danger zone when it was at the radius of 15 km.

Previously, the volcanology agency recommended those at the radius of 10 km to leave the area, many of the residence had took shelters in the area near the evacuation zone, on Wednesday the agency extended it to 15 km and 20 km on Friday morning.

Yogyakarta city and leman district were hit by ash disturbing feasibility.

A massive flow of evacuation had occurred since Wednesday, forcing authorities to provide new shelters.

Mount Merapi has frequently erupted since Oct. 26. It is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes.

The previous eruption of Mount Merapi in 2006 killed two people. A 1994 eruption claimed 60 people's lives. A major eruption in 1930 killed more than 1,000 people.

Source: Xinhua


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