Dozens are now dead after Merapi volcano eruption


One of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes has continued to spew out clouds of ash and gas in an eruption that has killed at least 25 people. Mount Merapi, on the outskirts of the city of Yogyakarta on Java island, first erupted on Tuesday, a day after a tsunami pounded remote islands in western Indonesia, killing at least 113 people. Authorities have been trying to evacuate more than 11000 villagers living on the slopes of the volcano, where many houses have been destroyed, the ruins lying covered in white ash. Endita Sri Andrianti, a spokeswoman for Yogyakarta’s Sardjito hospital, said 25 people had been killed by deadly bursts of hot air released by the volcano. “We are still collecting details to identify them. Most of them were burned to death,” she said, adding that 14 villagers had suffered burn injuries. She was unable to confirm local media reports that among the dead was the elderly spiritual guardian of the mountain, Mbah Maridjan, believed by many Javanese to possess magic powers. Many of victims have been found in or around his house in the village of Kinahredjo, close to the volcano’s crater, local media reported.]]>

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