Jakarta, May 11: Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupted on Friday spewing 5,500-metre high column of volcanic ash, forcing residents to evacuate.
The volcano situated in the borders of Klaten, Magelang and Boyolali districts erupted at 7.30 a.m., Xinhua news agency quoted national disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho as saying.
Volcanic ash rain has occurred in Tugu Kaliurang and is forecast to persist in the south of the crater, he said.
To prevent the risks especially, the local officials have distributed masks, Sutopo added.
“Local disaster agency has instructed the villagers living in the radius 5 km from the crater to evacuate immediately,” he told Xinhua.
A 3 km no-go zone has been declared by the volcanology agency.
Mount Merapi is an active stratovolcano and has regularly erupted since 1948.
It is located about 28 km north of Yogyakarta city which has a population of 2.4 million and thousands of people live on the flanks of the volcano.
Pyrolastic flow from a large explosion killed 27 people on November 1994, and another large eruption occurred in 2006. Mount Merapi is one of Indonesias 129 active volcanoes.