Indonesia’s Mount Merapi Erupts

Indonesia’s most volatile volcano, Mount Merapi on the island of Java, erupted on Sunday.

Among Java Island’s 15 volcanoes, Merapi is the most active locally and throughout the country.

The 2.968-meter (9,737-foot) high stratovolcano has experienced increasing volcanic activity in recent weeks, with plumes of ash high in the air and a dome of hardened lava quickly rising on its summit.

The lava dome partially collapsed Sunday morning, releasing at least seven pyroclastic flows, a combination of hot debris, lava, and gases, 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) down its slopes.

The eruption’s ash covered numerous villages and surrounding towns, although there were no deaths recorded.

Mount Merapi is one of sixteen “Decade Volcanoes,” or volcanoes capable of massive, potentially disastrous eruptions in highly populated areas.

Merapi’s most recent significant eruption was in 2010 and it killed 347 people and displaced 10,000 others, making it one of the worst volcanic eruptions in recent years.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because it is in the Pacific ring of fire.

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