Indonesia raises alert for Merapi volcano, sets no-go zone

A car is covered by ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, May 21, 2018. Indonesia's most volatile volcano spewed smoke and ash early Monday in the latest of several eruptions in less than two weeks. (AP Photo/Ombak Samudra)

Indonesian authorities raised the alert for the country's volatile Mount Merapi volcano, located on the densely populated island of Java, and ordered people within 3 kilometers to evacuate

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian authorities raised the alert for the volatile Mount Merapi volcano on the densely populated island of Java and ordered people within 3 kilometers (2 miles) to evacuate.

Merapi has erupted four times since Monday, sending out a 3,500 meter (11,483 feet) column of volcanic material and dusting the surrounding region in ash.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the national disaster mitigation agency's spokesman, said some 660 people living within the exclusion zone have evacuated since early Tuesday.

Indonesia's geological agency raised Merapi's alert from normal to "beware," because of its increased activity.

There have been no reports of casualties and operations at Adi Sucipto airport in Yogyakarta have not been affected.

The 2,968-meter (9,737-foot) mountain is about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the Yogyakarta city center. About a quarter million people live within a 10 kilometer radius of the volcano, according to figures from authorities in surrounding districts. Its last major eruption in 2010 killed 347 people and caused the evacuation of 20,000 villagers.

Nugroho said climbing on Merapi is prohibited and only disaster agency personnel or related researchers should enter the restricted area.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Indonesian government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.

Peaple also read these

China tries to reassure foreign companies over...

Mar 11, 2017

China's industry minister has defended a manufacturing development plan and rejected complaints...

Asian markets on edge as US strikes Syria amid Xi...

Apr 7, 2017

Asian stock indexes are mixed after the U.S. fired missiles at Syria during President Donald...

China blocks online broadcast of computer go match

May 24, 2017

Censors blocked China's internet users from seeing Google's online broadcast of a national go...

Foreign doctors deem ill Chinese Nobel laureate...

Jul 9, 2017

Two foreign specialists who visited Liu Xiaobo say the cancer-stricken Nobel Peace Prize laureate...

China criticizes British freedom of navigation...

Jul 31, 2017

China has criticized plans by Britain to send its new aircraft carriers on freedom of navigation...

Sign up now!