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Indonesian volcano Mount Merapi spews massive ash in 2nd major eruption this month

Indonesian volcano Mount Merapi spews massive ash in 2nd major eruption this month

Indonesia’s most active volcano Mount Merapi erupted Friday, shooting a column of ash some 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) into the air in its second major eruption this month. Ash and sand covered areas several kilometers away from the peak of the rumbling crater near Indonesia’s cultural capital Yogyakarta.

Authorities did not raise Merapi’s alert level. “There has been no reports of damage from the eruption. We urge people to stay calm and not panic,” national disaster mitigation agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said.

Merapi erupted earlier this month, shooting a massive ash cloud some 6,000 meters in the air. That eruption coated Yogyakarta and neighboring city Solo with gray dust and forced an airport closure.

Mount Merapi’s last major eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of 280,000 residents. That was Merapi’s most powerful eruption since 1930, which killed around 1,300 people, while another explosion in 1994 took about 60 lives, AFP said.