Merapi volcano spews ash column (Source: Reuters)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Indonesian authorities asked residents living near Merapi volcano on Java island to promptly evacuate and shut down an airport in Yogyakarta city after the mount erupted, sending an ash column as high as over 5km.

The Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said people living within 5 km radius of the crater was forced to flee to safety, adding that nearly 120 people are now in safe places.

The State-owned aviation agency of Indonesia, Airnav said in a statement that Adi Sucipto airport in Yogyakarta city, was also closed due to threat from the ash.

Mount Merapi is located on the border between central Java and Yogyakarta provinces. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since the 16th century. It is about 28km north of Yogyakarta city with thousands of people living on the flanks of the volcano.

The volcano erupted most in 2010 following a large eruption in 1872, leaving at least 113 people dead and nearly 1,800 others injured.-VNA