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Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupts, ash visible hundreds of miles away

Thursday, February 13th 2020, 12:28 pm - Tourists, airplanes were advised to exercise caution in the area. A cold lava flood warning was also issued for residents in the vicinity of the volcano.

Indonesia's most active volcano erupted at 5:16 a.m. local time Thursday, creating a massive column of dust and prompting authorities to caution tourists to avoid coming within a 3-km radius of Mount Merapi's peak. While the volcano's alert status was not raised, airplanes were advised to exercise caution when flying over the area.

Risks associated with the eruption include rock slides and lava floods near the slope.

The volcano rises about 2,900 metres above sea level and is situated on the border between Yogyakarta and Central Java. Between September and November 2019, it erupted four times and was the site of a series of volcanic earthquakes.

A column of ash by up to 2,000 metres was seen by residents hundreds of miles away from the volcano. A cold lava flood warning was also issued for residents in the vicinity of the volcano, Spectee reported via Reuters.

"There has been an increase in Merapi's volcanic activity from mid-December 2019 to mid-January this year, both under and on the ground," Said Hanik Humaida, the head of the Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Center, in a statement.

VIDEO: MORE FOOTAGE OF SMOKE PLUME AT MOUNT MERAPI

"Similar eruptions can still happen in the future as an indicator that the magma chamber is still supplying magma."

In 2010, an eruption at Mount Merapi killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of approximately 280,000 people.

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