Indonesia’s Mountain of Fire Erupts Again, Spewing Hot Ash Clouds and Lava

Indonesian officials are monitoring the country’s most active volcano after it erupted again Saturday morning, launching hot ash clouds high into the air, and sending lava spewing down the side of the mountain.

Ash plumes shot more than 600 feet into the air as volcanic debris spilled down the slopes of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta on the densely populated Indonesian island of Java, about 250 miles east of Jakarta. The name “Merapi” loosely translates to “Mountain of Fire.”

The volcano erupted hot clouds of ash at least eight times, and sent several pyroclastic flows down its slopes, according to the Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation. No injuries were reported, but local officials are cautioning of more activity to come. The volcano has erupted regularly for hundreds of years.

Based on observations of the volcano begun in early November, “it is concluded that the volcanic activity of Mount Merapi is still quite high in the form of effusive eruptions,” said Raditya Jati of the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management. “Effusive” eruptions are those in which lava steadily flows onto the ground.

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SOURCE: NPR, Matthew S. Schwartz