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    Volcano danger zone extended after big eruption


    by ODN


    Indonesia's Mount Merapi has erupted with renewed strength, the fourth eruption in eight days, forcing authorities to extend a danger radius to 15 km from the volcano and move refugee shelters.

    The volcano, on Java island, spewed clouds of ash and gas five kilometres (three miles) into the sky for more than an hour on Wednesday, its biggest eruption so far in the past ten days. The latest series of eruptions began last Tuesday (October 26).

    Villagers rushed from the danger zone on motorcycles, and soldiers made sure evacuation orders were strictly followed.

    Local officials say the energy from Wednesday's eruption was three times greater than that of the first eruption last week.

    The death toll from Merapi's eruptions climbed to 42 as of Wednesday, and about 73,000 people have fled to shelters.