Thursday 25 December 2014

Thousands flee homes as volcano erupts

Published 13/02/2014 | 18:48

Villagers watch as Mount Sinabung erupts in Perteguhan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. The volcano has sporadically erupted since September, forcing thousands of people who live around it slopes to flee their homes. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
This file pic shows another Indonesian volcano - Mount Sinabung - erupting in Perteguhan, North Sumatra, Indonesia Photo: AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara

Thousands of people on Java island are being evacuated after Mount Kelud erupted, an Indonesian official said.

Muhammad Hendrasto, head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre, said the volcano in Kediri regency erupted about 90 minutes after authorities raised its status to the highest level.

He urged about 200,000 people living in 36 villages within the danger zone of six miles (10km) from the crater to evacuate.

A series of huge blasts unleashing stones and gravel caused panic among villagers who immediately fled to safer areas.

In 1990, Kelud spewed searing fumes and lava that killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds. In 1919, a powerful explosion that reportedly could be heard hundreds of miles away killed at least 5,160.

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