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Thousands flee erupting Indonesian volcano

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Thousands flee erupting Indonesian volcano


As if an earthquake and tsunami were not enough, Indonesia has been handed the triple whammy of a third natural disaster in the space of 24 hours.

Its most volatile volcano Mount Merapi in central Java has erupted spewing out plumes of hot ash and rock.

Although figures vary, 16 people, including a small baby, are so far thought to have perished with
more than a dozen injured being rushed to hospital with burns, some severe.

The volcano’s alert status was raised to its maximum level on Monday with thousands of villagers fleeing the mountain slopes.

However, authorities are still desperately trying to evacuate residents with fears increasing pressure beneath Merapi could blow its lava dome.

The mount has a recent history of eruptions. In 1994 some 70 people died. However, that figure is dwarfed by the 1930 explosion which saw some 1,300 victims.

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