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    Volcano coughs, turns air into ash in Indonesia

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    RT News Channel

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    Indonesia's military forced villagers off the slopes of the country's most volatile volcano on Saturday as it unleashed a new powerful explosion that claimed another victim and temporarily shut down an airport. Some 36 people have now died near Mount Merapi since it first erupted last on Tuesday. Plumes of heavy gray ash poured from the crater's mouth as rocks and debris cascaded down its slopes. Saturday's powerful 21-minute eruption briefly forced the closure of the airport in the nearby city of Yogyakarta, 20 km south of the volcano. At least one school was also closed due to the quantity of ash which has fallen on the city. 47,000 people who live around Mount Merapi are staying in government camps or with friends and relatives. The latest rumblings of Merapi come as rescuers cope with a rising death toll from a tsunami in another part of the sprawling archipelago nation. The catastrophes struck within 24 hours in different parts of the seismically active country, severely testing Indonesia's emergency response network.
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