Indonesia's Merapi volcano spews hot clouds, 500 evacuatedLast updated on Jan 07, 2021, 01:56 pm
Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano spewed avalanches of hot clouds on Thursday morning as over 500 residents were evacuated from its fertile slopes.
Local authorities on Thursday evacuated over 500 people living on mountains in Magelang district on Java Island.
"Until now, the potential danger is not more than 5 kilometers (3 miles)," Chief of Yogyakarta's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre, Hanik Humaida stated.
Hot clouds spread less than one kilometer from the crater
Since the fog was covering the volcano, the distance of the pyroclastic clouds spread was not visually observed. The amplitude and seismic recording data from the Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Centre estimated the hot cloud-spread at less than one kilometer from the crater.
Alert level of Mount Merapi had been raised to second-highest
The geological authority had raised the alert level of Mount Merapi to the second-highest level in November after sensors picked up increasing activity. Tourism and mining activities were halted.
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 ten kilometers (6 miles) of the volcano, according to authorities in surrounding districts.
Mount Merapi's last major eruption had killed 347 people
The stratovolcano spewed ash and hot gas as high as 6 kilometers in June last year.
Its last major eruption in 2010 killed 347 people and caused the evacuation of 20,000 villagers.
Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.