06 June, 2006

Thousands evacuate as Merapi menaces

Thousands of people have been evacuated from the slopes of Indonesia's Mount Merapi as lava flows spread further down the slopes of the volcano Tuesday, officials said.

The volcano alert was put on red -- indicating a feared imminent eruption -- on May 13 but residents have been particularly nervous since a deadly earthquake rocked the region 10 days ago.

Indonesian authorities evacuated thousands of people living in villages close to the peak of the volcano and many more joined them voluntarily as the volcanic rumblings escalated, officials said.

Experts fear that the mountain's growing lava dome could collapse, sending lava and dangerous heat clouds down Merapi's slopes.

Read it here.


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