Huge volcano eruption kills 91, over 1.3 mln to seek shelters in Indonesia

13:45, November 05, 2010      

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Photo taken on early morning of Nov. 4, 2010 shows Merapi volcano spewing lava and smoke as it erupted again, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Merapi volcano in Central Java of Indonesia re-erupted at 4:40 a.m. local time on Thursday after the strongest eruption on Wednesday since last week. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)

A volcano in Central Java of Indonesia re-erupted earlier Friday, the biggest since Oct. 26, killing at least 54 people and injuring seriously 66 others, bringing the total fatality to 91, over 1.3 million people to seek 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, ash reached 45 km away, and leading the authorities to extend evacuation zone to 20 km, Volcanology Agency official in Yogyakarta Kurniati Rinekso said.

Authorities have closed the main airport of Adi Sucipto in Yogyakarta province, one of the busiest airport in the country, since 06:00 a.m. Jakarta time Friday, (2300 GMT Thursday) as ash still covers the airport, spokesman of Transport Ministry Bambang Ervan told Xinhua.

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

Spokesperson of the national Disaster and Mitigation Management Agency Nelis Zuliasri told Xinhua that there were 1,298,406 people stay in the radius of 20 km and they must leave the area.

Many of the evacuees have taken shelters at stadium, university, local House of Representatives, sport facility buildings, schools, mosques, according to officials.

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

At least five houses in Argo Mulyo village of Sleman regency were burned by the hot ash, several people got burn injury, rescuer said.

Press officer DR Sardjito General Hospital in Yogyakarta Susan Ananti told Xinhua that 54 death bodies have been brought to hospital, they identity could not be recognized as most of the bodies were burned.

She said that 66 others who got serious injury were being treated intensively in hospital.

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

Mount Merapi has frequently erupted since Oct. 26. It is one of the Indonesia's most active volcanoes. Indonesia lies in a quake- prone zone called the Pacific Ring of Fire, and now has 129 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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