Experts say the volcano, Mount Merapi, on Indonesia’s Java island could explode erupt, possibly within the coming hours,
The government has raised the alert status to its highest level as smoke continues to billow from what is regarded as one of the most menacing volcanoes in the so-called Pacific “rign of fire.”
Thousands of villagers have been evacuated from the slopes smouldering of the mountain, which last erupted in 1994 killing 70 people.
They have been given army tents as temporary homes. But many are growing frustated and say they need to return farms.
Dozens are reported to have already headed back to their villages in defiance of government orders.
Merapi, which means “Mountain of Fire”, has been rumbling for weeks and glistening orange lava has flowed occasionally from its crater in recent days.
Its most deadly eruption of modern times came in 1930 when 1,300 people were killed.