A volcano in Indonesia spews ash on February 19 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Mount Merapi, the most active volcano in Indonesia, sent out a column of ash of 3,500 meters to the air in the morning of May 22, forcing people living in the radius of 3 km to leave to safer grounds.

Spokesman of the national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the volcanology agency has risen alert level of the volcano located in main Java Island from the lowest to the second highest.

The volcano witnessed four times eruptions since May 21 with the latest one at 01:47 a.m. on May 22, sparking rains of ash in Sleman and Klaten districts, the spokesman said.

As many as 660 people living in the radius of 3 km have been evacuated to safer grounds and the number of evacuees continue to raise.

Mount Merapi volcano has regularly erupted since 1948. Its last major eruption in 2010 killed 347 people and caused the evacuation of 20,000 villagers.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. -VNA