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Airports shut and 100,000 evacuated as Java volcano blows

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Indonesian students walk on a street covered with volcanic ash following an eruption of Mount Kelud, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Photo: AP Photo.

Indonesian students walk on a street covered with volcanic ash following an eruption of Mount Kelud, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Photo: AP Photo.

Indonesian students walk on a street covered with volcanic ash following an eruption of Mount Kelud, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Photo: AP Photo.

OVER 100,000 people were evacuated from areas where volcanic dust and rocks lay up to eight inches thick after Mount Kelud on Java Island exploded.

Reports from Indonesia's most populous island said the blast was heard 125 miles away. A thick haze persisted over the cities of Yogyakarta and Surabaya, which has about three million residents.

Two people died when the roofs of their homes caved in, while a 70-year-old man died after a wall collapsed in Pandansari village.

Airport in Surabaya, Malang, Yogyakarta, Solo, Bandung, Semarang and Cilacap were closed yesterday due to reduced visibility and Virgin Australia cancelled its flights to airports in the region, including Bali.

"The eruption sounded like thousands of bombs exploding," said Ratno Pramono, a 35-year-old farmer. The volcano continued to rumble yesterday.

Kelud is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia on the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire" – a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Southeast Asia.

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