Mount Merapi erupted early on Tuesday (Mar 3), spewing ash plumes as high as 6km above its peak and coating nearby communities with grey dust, said Indonesian authorities.

A code-red aviation alert – the highest – was sent out to inform pilots that an eruption was under way with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere, said the Centre for Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development (BPPTKG) in a press release. Ashfall was reported within a 10km radius of the peak after the eruption at 5.22am; the eruption lasted for nearly eight minutes. No casualties were reported, and local village leaders told Antara news agency that residents were going about their daily activities despite the eruption.

Has this volcano erupted before in Indonesia ?

Mount Merapi last erupted on Feb 13 this year and has been on the Watch alert, the third highest in a four-level volcanic monitoring system, since May 21, 2018. The last major eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of some 280,000 residents. That was Merapi’s most powerful eruption since 1930, which killed around 1,300 people, while another explosion in 1994 took about 60 lives. The Southeast Asian nation – an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and islets – has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

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