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Two killed in Indonesia volcano eruption

Posted on Feb 14 2014 | IANS

Jakarta, Feb 14 : Two people were killed and 100,000 others displaced after Mount Kelud in East Java, Indonesia, erupted, an official said Friday.

The two were killed when their houses collapsed due to the eruption, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of national disaster agency, told Xinhua over phone.

He said the seismic activity of the volcano eased Friday compared to Thursday night but the alert level remained at the highest.

"The number of evacuees reached 100,248 Friday," said Sutopo.

Indonesia closed three airports Friday and issued a warning for flights to reroute near Mount Kelud, Bambang Ervan, a spokesman of the country's transport ministry, told Xinhua.

Mount Kelud persisted with weak eruptions after the powerful burst of ash and gravel Thursday night, shooting ash 17,000 metres to the sky, Khairul Huda, head of the observation post for the Kelud volcano, told Xinhua by phone from East Java.

It was the strongest volcano eruption in recent years in Indonesia.

Gigantic hot lava burst forth with flames from the crater and slid off the slope of the mountain, while rains of ash containing volcanic materials, such as gravel, sand and others, continued Friday, said Huda.

The ash spread to nearby provinces, including Yogyakarta, Central Java province and even West Java province, Umar Rosadi, head of the national volcanology agency, said.

The last volcanic eruption of Mount Kelud occurred in 2007 and its strongest eruption took place in 1919 claiming 55 lives.

Indonesia has endured volcanic eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra for months that killed 17 people.

Mount Kelud is among 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

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