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Volcanic eruption forces evacuation of 200,000 people in Indonesia

4 years ago8 views

Originally published on February 14, 2014


The eruption of Mount Kelud on Thursday forced the evacation of more than 200,000 people from their homes and closed three airports in Indonesia.

Mount Kelud, one of the most active volcanoes on the densely populated island of Java, erupted at 10:50 p.m. on Thursday.

Gravel and ash rained down on houses in nearby villages. A man and a woman, both in their 60s, died when at least two houses in Malang collapsed. Officials said the houses caved in because of weak structures.

Around 200,000 villagers living within a 10 km radius of the volcano were evacuated to safety shelters. According to the BBC, many of the residents were used to volcanic eruptions and were not willing to leave their belongings behind. Some of them attempted to return to their homes to collect valuable possessions, but failed to do so because of the constant stream of volcanic ash.

Airports in Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Solo were closed due to poor visibility and possible damage of airplane engines by volcanic debris.

Official said large-scale eruptions are unlikely as Mount Kelud's volcanic activity has subsided. Lying across along a series of fault lines, Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, is home to around 130 volcanoes. The eruption of Mount Sinabung earlier this month claimed 14 lives.


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