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Fresh eruptions add to Indonesian death toll

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Fresh eruptions add to Indonesian death toll


At least 109 people are now thought to have died in the latest Merapi volcano eruption in Indonesia.

Another 65 bodies were found overnight as rescuers scrambled to recover victims from thick ash that has covered everything in the area in the last 10 days of volcanic activity.

Over 75,000 people have been evacuated so far.

In the closest city, Yogyakarta, people are driving with their headlights on in broad daylight and under a vast cloud of ash stretching over three kilometres up into the sky.

The eruptions are the most active and violent in living memory and experts are no longer able to predict how they will develop. Apart from the ash, the eruption is producing lava and waves of superheated gas which can flash ignite and surprise people away from the immediate danger zones.

With each fresh explosion of Mount Merapi, panic spreads far beyond the official 20 kilometre danger zone, which has itself just been enlarged.

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