10/25/2010, 00.00
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Merapi volcano erupts, 19 thousand people evacuated in Java

Red alert in Indonesia for the imminent eruption of a volcano located in the center of the island of Java, a densely populated area. Two previous eruptions in 1970 and 1994 caused hundreds of casualties.

Jakarta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Indonesia is on maximum alert for the imminent eruption of Merapi volcano. Approximately 19 thousand people have been evacuated from the island of Java within a radius of 10 km from the crater. The seismic activity of the volcano has increased dramatically in recent hours. On the weekend 500 earthquakes were recorded and high jets of lava. ''The magma was pushed upwards by the increasing seismic energy of the volcano, and is about one kilometer from the crater, "said the volcanologist Surono.

Merapi is located in the heart of the island of Java, a very densely populated area. The worst Merapi eruptions date back to 1930 (with a death toll 1400 deaths) and 1994 (70 deaths). The last one, which dates back to 2006, caused the deaths of two people. The volcano, located about 26 km from the city of Yogyakarta, is considered the most active among the 69 present in Indonesia.

The local volcanology center has raised the level to red alert and warned that the eruption of Merapi may be comparable to that recorded in 1930, when it buried 13 villages and killed 1,400 people. The eruption of 2006, also followed an earthquake which caused a cloud of hot ash and two deaths.

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