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Mud volcano erupts killing buffalo and poisoning farmers with toxic gas

Friday, August 28th 2020, 1:04 pm - "Four people were near the eruption site at that time. Three people were taken to the community health centre and one person was taken to the hospital."

Reuters Four farmers were poisoned and buffalo killed after a mud volcano spewing toxic gas erupted in Indonesia.

The Kesongo mud volcano in Blora Regency, Central Java province sparked panic when it started rumbling on Thursday morning (August 27).

Locals felt the ground shaking like an earthquake before the crater ejected columns of hot mud up to 30 metres high with fumes of gas. The powerful eruption lasted for more than 10 minutes.

Four farmers who rushed over to the volcano to drag their buffaloes to safety then inhaled the poisonous gas.

The men said they felt weak after inhaling the fumes. They then fainted and were taken to hospital by neighbours.

Army Sergeant Jatmiko, who attended the scene, said the four residents fainted due to inhaling gas from the site of the blast.

He said: "The four people were near the eruption site at that time. Three people were taken to the community health centre and one person was taken to the hospital.''

The villagers described the gas as "having a strong sulphur smell" that lingered in the air for a few hours and reached their homes.

Following the mud volcano eruption, 19 buffalo owned by the villagers went missing with a number of them discovered stuck in the mud.

Sinto Gendeng, who lives nearby the eruption, said: "This mud crater has been around here for a long time, but this is the first big eruption that occurred.

"People used to herd livestock in that location. There was a large meadow there. Some of the buffaloes are still there."

Kesongo mud volcano is a geological tourism area with grasslands and swamp areas that spans up to hundreds of hectares.

Mud volcanoes, also called mud domes, are formed when mud or slurry mixes with water and gas below the earth's surface and pressure builds up.

The gases are usually methane and sometimes carbon dioxide.

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