The Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia erupted on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, spewing ash, gas and extremely hot rock fragments for four hours.
There were no reports of casualties, but the Development Center kept the alert system at its second-highest level.
The explosion happened just as residents had begun to return to their nearby homes on the island of Java after fleeing previous eruptions.
The resulting lava flow was the biggest since authorities raised the danger level in November.
Another evacuation ahead?
Some 2,000 local residents had fled their homes in the Sleman and Magelang districts near to the volcano after a series of eruptions, but had begun to return.
Local authorities said they were prepared to evacuate people again if necessary and told people to stay clear of the 5 kilometer (3 mile) danger zone around the crater.
“We are taking inventory of vehicles that will be used to transport villagers,” the head of the local civil protection agency said.
Indonesia as main danger zone
The Indonesia islands lie on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an area characterized by frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The country has around 128 active volcanoes of which Mount Merapi is the most active. I climbed on top of it when I was 15!
The 2,968-meter high volcano has erupted repeatedly since 2018. Its most recent deadly eruption occurred in 2010 when it killed 340 people and left more than 60,000 displaced.
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