Indonesia’s most volatile volcano has erupted again, releasing plumes of ash high into the air and sending streams of lava and debris down its slopes.
No casualties were reported after an avalanche of rocks spilled down Mount Merapi’s slopes and clouds of hot ash spewed 656ft into the air as the mountain groaned and rumbled.
Hanik Humaida, the head of Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre, said the volcano unleashed hot clouds of ash at least eight times since the morning as well as a series of pyroclastic flows – a mixture of rock, debris, lava and gasses – that had reached nearly 1.2 miles down its slopes.
The 9,737ft (2,968-metre) high volcano is on densely populated Java island near the ancient city of Yogyakarta.
It is the most active of dozens of Indonesian volcanoes and has repeatedly erupted recently.
Villagers living on Merapi’s slopes have been advised to stay at least three miles from its crater and to be aware of the peril of lava.
Merapi’s last major eruption in 2010 killed 347 people.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped area along the edge of the ocean that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.