Indonesia volcano unleashes lava river in eruption

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Indonesia’s most active volcano erupted on Wednesday with a river of lava and searing gas clouds flowing 1,600 metres (5,250 feet) down its slopes.

It was Mount Merapi’s biggest eruption since authorities raised its danger level in November, said the head of Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center.

After morning rain, ash fall turned into muck in several villages, where the sound of eruption could be heard 30 kilometres (18 miles) away.

Police and rescue services evacuated people in some villages to temporary shelters in Sleman.

Authorities in November had evacuated nearly 2,000 people living on the mountain in Magelang and Sleman districts on Java Island but most have since returned.

The 2,968-metre (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 erupted several times with lava and gas clouds recently.

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