JAKARTA - One of the most active volcanos in Indonesia, Mount Merapi, erupted earlier Tuesday, spewing a column of thick ash by up to six km high and posing as a potential to disturb flights, a senior official said.
The eruption of Mount Merapi in the main island of Java was detected two km from the crater. The volcano unleashed dangerous volcanic gas and hot clouds, head of the Indonesian Research and Technology Development for Geological Disaster Agency (BPPTKG) Hanik Humaida said.
Rains of ash and sand poured down villages three km from the crater, Humaida said, adding that the rains of ash fell in the northern areas about 10 km from the crater.
Planes are banned from passing the pathway around the volcano as a volcano observatory notice for aviation (VONA) has been put in place with red code, the highest level of alert, according to the official.
Residents are prohibited from having activities in the radius of three km from the crater, the official said.
The 2.930-meter-high Mount Merapi, one of Indonesia's 129 active volcanoes, has regularly erupted.
A total of 353 people were killed and about 350,000 others were forced to evacuate during its eruption from October to November in 2010.
Indonesia, a vast archipelagic nation, is prone to volcanic activities and earthquakes as it lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire.
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