Indonesia: the Merapi spits incandescent lava

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Jakarta | One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Merapi erupted on Friday spewing incandescent lava, but authorities did not raise the alert level in the area.

The conical volcano, located near the city of Jogjakarta on the island of Java, emitted lava more than 20 times in two days and caused hundreds of minor volcanic earthquakes, according to the Indonesian geology agency.

Indonesia: the Merapi spits incandescent lava

“This morning, lava flows were observed on seven occasions,” the agency said in a report Friday, adding that the longest flow had extended 700 meters to the southwest.

Its alert level, which is the second highest on a scale of four since November, has not changed, however.

Residents of the region should not approach the volcano within a radius of 5 km around the crater.

Last month, the Merapi spat clouds of ash and smoke up to three kilometers high.

The last major eruption of Merapi dates back to 2010. It killed more than 300 people and forced more than 280,000 inhabitants to evacuate.

It was the most powerful eruption since that of 1930 which had killed some 1,300 people. An explosion in 1994 also killed 60 people.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the friction of tectonic plates causes frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The Southeast Asian archipelago has nearly 130 active volcanoes. Five of them are under special surveillance at the moment, including Sinabung, on the island of Sumatra.