Mount Merapi volcano eruption in Indonesia | Indonesia

The most active volcano in Indonesia erupted, sending a river of lava and flaming gas clouds gushing 3,000 meters (9,850 feet) down its slopes.

Officials said the sounds of the blast could be heard as far as 18 miles (30 km). There were no reports of injuries.

This is the largest lava flow in Mount Merapi since authorities raised the risk level in November, said Hanek Hamida, head of the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center in the nearby city of Yogyakarta.

She said the lava dome was growing rapidly, causing hot lava flows and clouds of gas on its slopes.

After the morning rains, the ashfall turned to mud in several villages. More than 150 people, most of them elderly, who lived within 3 miles of the crater, were evacuated to barracks set up for the displaced.

View of the eruption of Merapi volcano from the village of Pakm.
View of the eruption of Merapi volcano from the village of Pakm. Photography: Barcroft Media / Getty Images

In November, authorities evacuated nearly 2,000 people living on the mountain in Magelang and Solomon counties, but most have since returned.

The alert is being maintained at the second highest level, and the authorities have asked people to stay out of the danger zone around the crater.

The 2,968-meter-high volcano on the densely populated island of Java is the most active of dozens of Indonesian volcanoes, and has erupted frequently recently. The last major eruption of Merapi, In 2010, 347 people were killed.

Indonesia, An archipelago of 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it is located along the so-called “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean, a series of seismic faults in the shape of a horseshoe.

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