Java volcano erupts, spews 16,400-ft ash into sky

Jakarta: Indonesian villagers living in the shadow of one of the world’s most active volcanoes fled to safety on Friday as the crater erupted, sending a cascade of ash and smoke 16,400 foot into the sky. -Agencies

 

12,000 residents evacuated

The government ordered 12,000 residents living around Mount Merapi on Java island to leave as ash covered surrounding communities and even reached parts of Yogyakarta, Indonesia’s cultural capital some 30 kilometres away

 

Eight flights cancelled, int’l airport closed

 

Officials have shut down the city’s international airport with eight flights cancelled following the eruption, which began about 7:30 am local time. 120 people who were hiking on the mountain when the eruption happened are safe, reports said

 

The Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’

 

17,000 islands and islets situated in the South-East Asian archipelago

130 active volcanoes are situated on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity

 

Most powerful eruption

 

300 people died after Merapi erupted in 2010, in what is considered its most powerful eruption since 1930

280,000 people were evacuated