Indonesia volcano eruption sends ash nearly four miles into sky

Exclusion zone in place around Mount Merapi

Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupts

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano has erupted, sending a 3.7 mile column of ash into the air and triggering the closure of the airport in the nearby city of Solo on the densely populated Java island, authorities said.

The volcano, located near the cities of Yogyakarta and Solo, is Indonesia’s most active volcano and a series of eruptions in 2010 killed more than 350 people.

Indonesia’s Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation issued a red alert and said the ash cloud was moving north.

The international airport in Solo had been temporarily shut since 9:25am local time on Tuesday, Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation said. Four flights had been affected.

The local disaster mitigation agency warned people to keep out of a 3km exclusion zone around Merapi.

“Outside a 3km radius it’s still safe,” Biwara Yuswantana, the head of Yogyakarta’s disaster mitigation agency, told Reuters. The city is located about 30km from the volcano.

The latest eruption, part of a series that started in 2018, sent up a column of ash that affected several neighbouring areas, the country’s Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Centre said in a statement.

It said the eruption lasted almost eight minutes and warned of a risk of further eruptions due to continuing movements of magma. The 9612ft volcano is a popular site for tourists and its fertile soil is also farmed.

Reuters

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