Authorities in Indonesia say the nation’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi, on the island of Java, erupted Wednesday sending up a cloud of ash, as well as lava flows at least 1,500 meters down its slopes.
Officials with Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation says the lava flow was the biggest for Mount Merapi since authorities raised its danger level to 3 in November, the second highest, where it has remained.
A spokesman for the center told the Reuters news agency Merapi had spewed “quite intense” hot clouds at least 30 times since early Wednesday and warned of a danger of lava cutting roads near the volcano.
Authorities told people to stay out of the existing 5-kilometer danger zone around the crater as the local governments in Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces closely monitor the situation.
When the mountain erupted in November, the center had evacuated nearly 2,000 people living on the mountain in Magelang and Sleman districts on Java Island but most have since returned.
The 2,968-meter volcano is on the densely populated island of Java and near the ancient city of Yogyakarta.
It is the most active of dozens of Indonesian volcanoes and has repeatedly erupted with lava and gas clouds recently.
Merapi's last major eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 people.