YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesia’s most active volcano erupted on Wednesday and a lava river and gas cloud erupted 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) below its slope.
It was Mount Merapi’s largest lava flow since authorities raised its danger level in November, said Yeogakarta’s volcanic and geological hazard mitigation center chief Hanik Humida.
In November, authorities evacuated about 2,000 people living on the mountain in Magellang and Sleiman districts on Java Island, but most have returned. There have been no new withdrawals.
The alert was being maintained at the second highest level and officials told people to stay out of the existing 5-kilometer (3-mile) Danger Zone around the pit as local administration in the central Java and Yogyakarta provinces came to a close on the situation Keep an eye on
The 2,968-meter (9,737-foot) volcano is 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 burst repeatedly with lava and gas clouds.
The last major explosion of Merapi in 2010 killed 347 people.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, suffers from earthquakes and volcanic activity as it sits along the “Ring of Fire” of the Pacific Ocean, a series of seismic fault lines around the ocean.