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11/03/2007

Villagers flee in panic as Java volcano erupts

Breaking Earth News
Indonesia
Image:
Mist rises from the forest covering the Mount Kelud volcano near the village of Wilayang Ngantang in Indonesia's East Java province November 2, 2007. Mount Kelud volcano appears to have erupted, a top official said on Saturday, based on seismographic signals, but is obscured from view by heavy cloud cover. REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas

MONITORS and villagers fled the slopes of Indonesia's Mount Kelud in panic yesterday after seismic readings showed the volcano had begun erupting after weeks of heightened activity.

The volcano, in the heart of the densely populated island of Java, was shrouded in fog and no visual confirmation of the apparent eruption was possible before night fell, according to government seismologist Umar Rosadi.

Scientists fear that a build-up of magma under Kelud's crater lake could trigger a violent blast, sending a torrent of mud, ash and rock careering down the side of the 5,679ft mountain.
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