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Thousands of Indonesian Residents Flee as Erupting Mount Kelud Spews Ash 80 Miles Away
Indonesian citizens near Surabaya are fleeing their homes as Mount Kelud has erupted, spewing ash and debris as far as 80 miles from the volcano. Mass evacuations began yesterday as the volcano in East Java began to erupt. Tens of thousands are displaced from their homes, and at least two deaths are reported after falling ash collapsed the victims’ houses.
Mount Kelud’s tumultuous eruption yesterday dumped ash and gravel across the island of Java after weeks of threatening rumbling. The volcano, which is in the southeast region of the island, began to erupt early Thursday, giving locals in the neighboring 36 villages just one hour to flee their homes and seek temporary shelter. Airports as far as Yogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya were closed, due to low visibility from the ash, as well as ash layers on the airports’ runways.
Scenes from the streets of Java show hazy ash, and locals wearing face masks to protect themselves from the thick soot in the air. This morning, many locals attempted to go back to their homes to retrieve personal items, but were stopped by an endless shower of volcanic ash and rocks. Officials say the eruptions have since subsided, but urge locals to stay in temporary shelters and not to return home, as low visibility has made the roads dangerous for pedestrians. Last month Mount Sinabung on Sumatra erupted 50 times, killing at least 14 people.
Via BBC News
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