Hundreds evacuated as Mount Merapi spews ash cloud 52 times in 24 hours

Mount Merapi eruption on Jan. 28, 2021. Photo: BPPTKG
Mount Merapi eruption on Jan. 28, 2021. Photo: BPPTKG

Hundreds of residents living near Central Java’s Mount Merapi have evacuated from their homes amid the volcano’s heightened activity.

Indonesia’s most active volcano, located on Magelang and Sleman regencies, erupted yesterday, with sounds of the eruption reportedly heard up to 30 kilometers away. It has since spewed hot ash clouds 52 times over 24 hours, according to the Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Center (BPPTKG).

The center said volcanic matter dribbled up to 3 kilometers down the southwest slope of the volcano on Wednesday.

The first eruption on Thursday was recorded at 10:13am, which sent hot ash clouds trickling down 2 kilometers southwest, according to BPPTKG.

One hundred and fifty residents of a village located Southwest of the volcano have been evacuated. Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said all residents in nearby settlements have also been evacuated and that they had been adequately prepared for Merapi’s volcanic activity.

In November, authorities evacuated nearly 2,000 people from nearby settlements after Merapi erupted. Earlier this month, 500 people were evacuated after the volcano spewed volcanic ash.

Merapi’s last major eruption occurred in 2010, killing 347 people.

Earlier this month, East Java’s Mount Semeru erupted, spewing clouds of ash and gas. No casualties were reported then.

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