March 11 (UPI) — Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupted on Saturday, spewing an ash cloud for miles and producing an observable lava flow, disaster officials said.
Hot clouds of ash spread for more than four miles toward the Bebeng and Krasak rivers in central Java, according to the BNBP, the Indonesian disaster management agency.
Lava was observed flowing out of Merapi’s crater at a distance of nearly 1 mile, flowing to the southwest, while two avalanches of moderate intensity were heard from a post at Babadan, officials said.
Residents within 4 miles of the volcano were urged to retreat and to cease their activities in the danger zones.
Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in Indonesia, and is located on the Ring of Fire, an arc around most of the rim of the Pacific Ocean where seismic and volcanic activity frequently occurs.
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common in Indonesia as the archipelago is situated with the seismic ring.
Merapi last erupted in January 2021, sending a river of lava down its slopes and causing searing gas clouds to billow 10,000 feet into the sky. As a result, heavy ashfall covered nearby villages on the island of Java.
In 2010, the Merapi volcano began a series of three eruptions that left a reported death toll of more than 300 with about 6,000 homeless.