07 June, 2006

Mount Merapi Rumble Forces Evacuation of 3,000 More

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia — Hot gas and molten lava from Mount Merapi forced the evacuation of 3,000 people Wednesday, amid warnings that a large eruption at Indonesia's most dangerous volcano was still possible.

"It has the potential to spew bigger hot clouds," said Subandriyo, a vulcanologist monitoring Merapi's peak, adding that scorching ash and debris shot nearly two miles down the mountain's flank on nine separate occasions Wednesday.

The volcano's lava dome has swelled in recent weeks, raising concerns that it could suddenly collapse and send scalding clouds of gas and debris into populated areas.

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