Fears over Merapi Volcano eruption


Scientists have warned that pressure building beneath the dome of Indonesia’s most volatile volcano could trigger the most powerful explosion in years. At least 18 people were killed, including a two-month-old baby, according to doctors and media reports. Footage broadcast on the private station, Metro TV, showed smoke pouring out of Mount Merapi, obscuring its cone. Police and volunteers were shown carrying ash-covered corpses out of damaged homes in a mountainside village, some wrapped in blankets and yellow body bags. Thousands of villagers started streaming off the 2968-metre high mountain as darkness fell on Tuesday, crowding into makeshift emergency shelters. Earlier, many had refused to budge, saying they wanted to tend to crops along the volcano’s fertile slopes and protect their homes against looters. While there are fears the current activity could foreshadow a much more destructive explosion in the coming weeks or months, Gede Swantika, a government volcanologist, said the mountain appeared to be releasing some pressure building up beneath the lava dome.]]>

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